When I Do Recommend Dieting

I am very careful never to push this recovery process on anyone who still feels as if dieting is the answer for them I don’t even encourage them to read the book. The reason for this is simple. People who still believe that there really is a diet out there that can lead to lasting weight loss must find it and do it. It’s the speed of weight loss that is so alluring, as you know from your own experience, and it’s a hard habit to break. So, I just bless those who are still headed in that direction.

To Weigh or Not to Weigh, That is the Question

One challenging decision for people in recovery is whether or not to weigh them selves. Some choose not to weigh at all. This technique is helpful because it keeps the focus off the part that your body is supposed to do—burning the fat. If you don’t know what you weigh, it may help you stay with your primary responsibility to satisfy your hunger with great food. It will protect you from discouragement or panic if the numbers aren’t what you want or expect. Those numbers can be a distraction, possibly derailing you and tempting you to take drastic measures to speed things along, like trying to eat less and ignoring your hunger. It’s probably a better gauge of your progress to watch how your clothes fit. Fat is bulky, remember, so it takes up more space. You might not be losing at all by the scale because

of gaining dense muscle weight from more exercise, but you are losing fat at the same time. This shift will show up in the fit of your clothes.

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Others opt for weighing once a month because they’re so curious and want to track their progress. This is fine, as long as you can give your body the time it needs and let the numbers be what they are —numbers. Again, avoid letting the scale run your recovery and your life. If you can’t do this, stay off the scale. The only adjustments you should make as a result of the numbers are to apply the program basics better.

Many ex-dieters are used to weighing every day or at least once a week. These options are probably going to cause problems. First of all, lasting fat loss does not happen overnight or even steadily from week to week. Real fat loss occurs over months and is irregular for the most part. For example, Juanita weighed herself every day and was stuck in a plateau for seven weeks. She grew restless, knowing those numbers hadn’t budged downward. In fact, she went up two pounds during that time. Finally, after all that waiting, her weight suddenly dropped down five pounds. It really wasn’t sudden at all. It just took her body time to make the shift. Of course, you can weigh as often as you like, but because your goal is of the long-distance, lasting type, it’s much more prudent to keep your eyes up on your eating and the ultimate goal instead of down toward your feet.

There are ex-dieters who do decide to weigh themselves in spite of the potential pitfalls. They find the numbers on the scale motivating—reminders of what they are doing and why. They tend to tolerate the inevitable lulls in weight loss well, and keep in mind the necessity of taking time. It’s easy to find out if you fit into this category or if you should back away from the scale during your recovery. If you want to weigh yourself, just try it and see how it affects you. You’ll know whether the scale is a tool or a temptation for you.

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