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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Caution: Don't Overreact to the Scale

Learn clever ways to measure food intake:
The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide

"Measuring food portions is as important in our weight management as measuring body weight. They are intrinsically related."
Kaye Bailey

How many times do you invest your emotions for the day in one data point - the number on the bathroom scale?  I know it is very easy for me to be disappointed and self critical when the bathroom scale reports a bad number and equally happy when it tells me I've been "good." A rational mind knows better than to surrender emotions to the scale.  But when you have battled obesity your entire life emotions are intrinsically interwoven with every measure of our body size including weight, BMI, and dress size. It seems few of us ever escape the emotional attachment, no matter how much we understand it doesn't make sense.

But Mayo Clinic health and wellness specialist Paula Ricke says, "Weighting yourself regularly can help in weight loss, but don't let daily variations in your weight upset you. They may be just fluid changes. You have better control over what you eat and what you do than over numbers on the scale, so make it your goal to concentrate on those activities."

One area where I can improve is measuring food portions and taking better control over what I eat. In talking with others I know that many of us find measuring portions, and keeping a food journal, is a low priority. But how can we expect different results on the bathroom scale if we cannot be bothered to monitor and make changes in other measurable areas that impact our weight and health management? I address this very topic in my forthcoming book, Cooking with Kaye, and present an excerpt here:

"Small Measured Quantities:  This is key. I know it is annoying to measure portions. It is for me and I've heard from enough people in our WLS Neighborhood to know we all find it a hassle. The best way I can state this is that  if we cannot be bothered to measure our food serving tonight, then tomorrow morning when we step on the bathroom scale we should not be bothered when the results are not what we hoped for.  Measuring food portions is as important in our weight management as measuring body weight. They are intrinsically related.

"We tend to be polarized by one measurement (body weight) and ambivalent to the other measurement (food portions) when in fact one directly affects the other. Weight loss surgery patients are pro-active people by nature. We took pro-active measures to alter the course of our illness, morbid obesity, by having gastric surgery. We can achieve the best results - the results that motivated us to pursue a surgical option - when we routinely measure and monitor our food intake. A hyper-awareness of what and how much we eat will certainly give us the results we desire on that other revered symbol of measurement: the bathroom scale," Kaye Bailey.

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