Measure, or You Won't Lose Weight
If you are looking to lose weight, a little or a lot, there is one habit you must form. That habit will be the difference between weight loss success and weight loss failure.
Measuring is the simple key to success when it comes to losing weight. This can come in the form of a scale (measuring your weight in pounds or kilos), a tape measurer (measuring circumferences in inches or centimeters), or clothing fit (recording how your clothes fit on your body).
Whatever your preference, some form of measurement must take place to track your progress.
More importantly, measuring keeps you honest and humble about the weight loss process. Numbers don't lie to spare your feelings. Numbers also provide immediate feedback in the short-term so you can quickly determine if your approach is working.
If you measure each day, you should be able to tell within two or three days whether your weight loss plan is netting any results. A realistic weight loss plan would aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week. Therefore, after two days, you should see a net loss of approximately 2-4 ounces on the scale. That's about one-third to two-thirds of a pound.
Of course, not all weight loss happens in a clean downward trajectory. Often, it is more likely that you simply maintain your weight for a time before your body stops resisting the idea of weight loss. After being well-fed for so long, it might take your body a little time to realize this calorie cutting isn't starvation, and your body no longer needs to hold onto its fat stores.
This transition period can vary from person to person in terms of how long it takes. It can also happen at multiple points throughout the weight loss process, but these resistance periods that occur after some initial weight loss success are better known as plateaus.
By consistently measuring your progress throughout your weight loss journey, you can learn how long your body takes to initiate weight loss and to break through a plateau. This can help you plan in realistic terms how long it might take to lose a larger amount of weight. Measuring can also immediately tell you if you are gaining weight, which is a clear indication that your method isn't working, and you can adjust your calorie intake.
Knowing that you will be measuring yourself the next day makes you more accountable for your eating habits. You are less likely to binge and more likely to move a bit more, eat a bit less in order to see a better result the next day. Achieving a good result, like a lower number on the scale, can feel like a reward in and of itself.
Overall, the most important thing you can do to help yourself lose weight is to measure yourself, measure your progress, and plan realistically based on those measurements.