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Q: Why do you weigh yourself daily? Isn’t it ‘bad’ to weigh every day? – newblogi.es

Q: Why do you weigh yourself daily? Isn’t it ‘bad’ to weigh every day?

Q:  Every program I’ve seen always talks about weekly weigh ins rather than the daily ones you seem to do.  Are daily weigh ins ok?  Better?  Worse?  Why do you do them?

A: You know, it really doesn’t matter, actually. It’s just about measuring something you can put a goal around and be mindful of. newbodi.es Principle #1 is to track something. It’s really crucial. Tim Ferriss, whose teachings I based much of newbodi.es on, doesn’t like weighings and calorie counting, but he likes them better than nothing. He’s more a fan of body fat percentage, inches lost, etc. But, again, it just doesn’t matter. The calories thing is probably the least helpful, though, since it can lead to poor choices in diet that work against your progress. For example, I eat more fat than I’ve ever eaten, and am also leaner than I’ve ever been. Calorie counting wouldn’t allow for this because fat grams are so dense in calories.

Tim shares the story of a guy who does nothing more than weigh himself and track it.  He doesn’t try to change his life to hit any particular numbers.  Yet, almost miraculously, he loses weight.  Why?  He’s now conscious of it, and he subconsciously makes different choices in such a subtle way as to not notice it impacting his life.  The same goes for ‘tracking’ what you eat by taking a pic of it on your phone.  As Tim puts it, you are a lot less likely to eat a one pound bag of M&Ms if you stop for a minute and focus in on what you’re about to do.  In both cases, the tracking isn’t the important part so much as the responsibility it imparts in you by making you aware of your choices and their consequences – be it consciously or subconsciously.

For me, tracking weight and body fat in the morning and night works. Something else might work for you, but just have something to track. And then create a long and short term goal around it (Principle #4). You want to be sure to stay mindful of the line between obsessing and tracking or being mindful. I don’t actually care what my weight is because I’m well within where I wanted to be (actually, I’m nearly 10 lbs under what I was aiming for, and am starting to care that it’s too low as I’ve been losing weight lately without much logic as to why), so if I go up to 178 or something, I really don’t get phased, and I don’t overreact. I wouldn’t even mind if I hit 180 again, or went slightly over since I know how to bring it right back to where I want it.  t just live my life and see what the numbers say to be sure I’m doing the right thing.

This is a reason I like the Nike+ Fuel Band so much.  Nike Fuel does has a basis in science and energy expenditure, but it’s totally abstract to the user.  Yet you end up really focusing on it – hitting your goals, raising your goals, etc.  This may be more than enough for most people and can keep them from developing eating disorders or something unhealthy that people fear comes about from frequent weighings.

In the end, pick something that’s meaningful, trackable, and that you can set goals around.  And then track it religiously.  This is exactly why I developed trackbodi.es, my new iOS app. Unlike other fitness apps, it isn’t overly structured around any particular exercise, metric, etc.  It is a template that allows you to customize whatever it is you really want to track.  No, it doesn’t have a ton of features like connecting to a WiThings scale or blood pressure monitor, reading your heart rate on a Polar heart rate monitor, GPS tracking of your runs, etc.  But it allows you to see that thing you feel is important, set a goal for it (Principle #4 again), and watch how you do over time (plus share that performance with your social network for support and peer pressure – Principle #2).

If you haven’t downloaded it yet, check out trackbodi.es.  We have a free (ad supported) and paid (ad free) version available now for the iPhone.

About bryan falchuk

bryan falchuk is the founder of newbodi.es, a certified personal trainer, behavior change specialist and the best-selling author of "Do a Day". bryan coaches people on their whole health - the physical, mental and emotional combination of wellness that we need to thrive and change our lives.

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