Every Sunday morning my newsletter goes out to people interested in weight loss, healthy eating, and great food in general.
But for my patients it is their weekly reminder to weigh themselves, see if they lost a pound, gained a pound, stayed the same– and if they are unhappy then to look back at their food logs and see what led to the lack of progress.
Throughout the years we have called this several names: our first was “if you can measure it you can manage it.”
Later we called it “if you plan for your meals you plan for success, and if you don’t plan for success you are planning for failure.”
Now its called “scale or fail.”
Here is the simple premise:
Your body doesn’t lie. It is the perfect calorie counter- you are not. The brain doesn’t remember the food you eat – we simply are not wired that way. The eye is lousy at determining portion size. If you want to lose weight, biology has set you up to fail. If you want to gain weight – your body is perfect at doing that.
Here is how to combat it:
Record every thing you eat – everything you drink. Lots of great apps out there for that – even we have an app for some of our clients that uses voice. But for most LoseIt, myfitnesspal – all good. For those who prefer the easy way: write it down in a notebook. For those who want easier- take a photo of everything you ate – so every week you can look at that album.
But don’t just believe your eyes: Weigh your food — yes, that chicken breast is likely not 4 ounces, it is probably 10 – and that is a lot more calories. Lots of kitchen scales that make this handy. Oh- we make it simple: unlimited fruits and vegetables – but not what you put on it. So measure the meat, the bread, the dessert.
Weigh yourself every week
Some people don’t like to do this- they like to measure their abdomen, or thighs. But get some way that you can measure your progress
You then can see if your program is working. You don’t have to be surprised by gaining a lot of weight over a month or two- you can see what your plan is doing– if it is doing anything.
Simple? Yes. Will you do it? You should if you want to succeed with your weight loss plans.
Don’t fear the scale – denial doesn’t work. What works- keeping yourself accountable – knowing that what you ate or didn’t eat is responsible for your weight. Positive and negative reinforcement – it can be your best friend.
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Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and went to medical school. Dr. Simpson, a weight loss surgeon is an advocate of culinary medicine. The first surgeon to become certified in Culinary Medicine, he believes teaching people to improve their health through their food and in their kitchen. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcolm Baldrige award for healthcare in 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska and in 2013 Dr Simpson won the National Indian Health Board Area Impact Award. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit www.terrysimpson.com.