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If you’re trying to lose fat (or gain muscle) when should you pay attention to the number on the weight scale?
The Weight Scale
- Scott wanted to begin by emphasizing again how absurd some marketing has gotten.
- Scott also wanted to think of the weight scale as a bank account. With a bank account, you don’t check it every day, and you don’t freak out about every withdrawal or think you screwed up because of a withdrawal. You accept that there are withdrawals and deposits, and what matters is whether or not you’re headed in the right direction in the long-term.
- Sometimes no weight loss at all is a good sign. Things are going on under the surface.
- Mike actually doesn’t like the advice to “only weigh in once a week,” because weighing in every day is “too much.” This is because, paradoxically, when you weigh in every day, it very quickly becomes clear how all-over-the-place these numbers are, so you learn it doesn’t really matter. By contrast, if you weigh in once a week, every week, you end up focusing way too much on that number and thinking it means something.
- In Scott’s own business accounts, he sees a big huge ~scary~ withdrawal every quarter, for taxes, but he knows that he needs to look at the whole picture. To Mike, this is equivalent to just figuring out what certain ups and downs on the scale mean. You can still pay attention to it, but you need to not over-think what you’re seeing.
- Things that can seem to add pounds to the scale: the later in the day, the heavier you weigh! Also, eating, stress hormones, lack of sleep, eating extra salt, slight changes in diet.
- Mike also points out that in the National Weight Loss Registry, there *are* big, big correlations between self-monitoring and long-term weight loss. People who lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off *do* tend to keep an eye on it.
- One danger are low-carb diets that promise quick weight loss. If you don’t realize it’s just water weight, you’re setting yourself up for rebound and disappointment.
- Almost always, if you’re on a decent weight loss diet or fat loss diet, if you plateau, you need to be patient and wait things out. Also, some people need to be real: there is no magic formula to get past this plateau that’s sustainable. Yes, there are things that *will* help you lose weight, but these things won’t actually make you look that much better, and/or they won’t be sustainable.
- Another option is cheat days or refeeds. The answer to this is “it depends.” A good coach has to read the context. Is the client hypersensitive to cravings, or are they genuinely experiencing never-ending “intolerable” hunger?
- When it comes to gaining weight, it’s the reverse side of the same idea. If you start eating at a surplus right after a fat loss diet, you’re not putting on “10 lbs. of muscle in two weeks.” You’re storing glycogen and water.
Fancy Tricks to Lose (Water) Weight
How to add pounds and inches to your legs!
Diet for a bodybuilding show, then measure your leg when you’re at your most strung out, before doing any final fat loading or carb loading or whatever. After the show, eat a pizza and two liters of Coke. Boom, your legs have an extra inch or more!
How add inches to your arms!
Go on a low-carb diet for two weeks and don’t train at all. Measure your arms and take photos. Now go out for 3-4 days fat-loading and sugar-loading, and do 5 supersets of barbell curls and tricep curls. Immediately measure your arms. Voila!
How to lose inches from your waist!
Cut carbs and water. Also, use sun beds a bit for a week before the wedding. Then put preparation H all around your stomach and your waist when you’re in the sunbed. This only works in the short-term and is just shrinking skin. (Also, to be clear, we’re not recommending anyone do this. If you do use a sunbed follow whatever instructions they have, first and foremost.)