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For Newbies: Ditch the scale!

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  • #61
    Im starting to understand now and lose the habit of a lifetime of weighing myself every day! Its a hard habit to break!!
    I did however, get my bodyfat, muscle mass measured via the Kinetik machine and this has got me puzzled.
    According to the machine, my bodyfat% is 26.1 which is about right for my height - maybe a fraction high, but my muscle mass% comes out at 69.8!!
    Surely that cant be right can it? sounds like a body builders muscle mass!
    What should this be in average? Im 140 lbs, 50 years old and 5ft 4" tall.
    I'm not a complete idiot! There's parts missing!!

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    • #62
      I don't mind +/- 5 lb fluctuation. I do mind when the +/- 5 lb fluctuation begins trending upward. So I weigh every once in a while. My weight recently began fluctuating between 184-189, when it's usually 170-175. So...yeah. Lord knows that ain't muscle.

      I appreciate the intentions of Griff's post. Just keeping a smart eye on the scale (with proper context) works for some, doesn't work for others.

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      • #63
        Ah, the scale of good and evil....I haven't thrown the scale out, but I moved it to another bathroom that I don't use because hubby still wants it in the house. I am on day 2 of my scale free life. Today, I am trying to pay attention to how I feel. I am aiming for weighing myself no more than once a month. If I get to the end of my first Whole30 and I feel good about how I feel, I might not weigh myself. It's a hard addiction to break...Why do I care? It's a lifetime habit, just like thinking the number of calories is important and the food itself isn't.

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        • #64
          The water replaces fat in your cells during fat loss, OMG, it's true! Look:

          "A biologist at Berkeley shared something very revealing on the low-carb BBS system about 4 years ago that helps us all through the erratic weight fluctuations you invariably encounter:

          "Fat cells are resilient, stubborn little creatures that do not want to give up their actual cell volume. Over a period of weeks, maybe months of "proper dieting", each of your fat cells may have actually lost a good percentage of the actual fat contained in those cells. But the fat cells themselves, stubborn little guys, replace that lost fat with water to retain their size. That is, instead of shrinking to match the reduced amount of fat in the cell, they stay the same size! Result - you weigh the same, look the same, maybe even gained some scale weight, even though you have actually lost some serious fat.

          This is what we have been telling folks. You lose inches but not pounds because your body plumps the fat cells. I tell them it is a complicated biochemical process that your body replaces the fat molecules with water and fluids until you exceed your bodies predetermined fluid level. Then your body will release a chemical that releases all this stored water and you get a sudden overnight loss of several pounds. Then the cycle starts over again with inches gone and the scales lag behind. "

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Griff View Post
            1. Bodyweight naturally fluctuates up to five pounds up or down over the course of any given day.
            True, precisely why I weigh at the same time each day, first thing as soon as I wake. I keep a log for trend charts. I am looking for trends.

            Originally posted by Griff View Post
            2. You could be building muscle mass. Muscle takes up less space than fat, but weighs more for the same amount of space as a result.
            If one is 386lbs how much muscle could they really be putting on compared to their fat loss?

            Originally posted by Griff View Post
            3. Weight loss is not linear. The body will often dump fat and fill the fat cells with water to "hold" the space, anticipating a refeed of carbs to fill up those storage cells again. Eventually, when it doesn't happen, the body gets the message and dumps the water out.
            This is something I have not read about yet. I certainly would like to read more. I seems to make sense.

            Originally posted by Griff View Post
            4. You may not have a lot of weight to lose.
            Definitely true! But... not in my case.

            Originally posted by Griff View Post
            5. As a corollary to #4, you may have unrealistic expectations of what you should weigh.
            I don't think that is a problem at this point for me.

            Originally posted by Griff View Post
            6. You may be healing. If you're healing, the body is going to prioritize that over weight, every time. You may have a very damaged gut or arteries from years of eating the low-fat, high-carb, healthywholegrains Standard American Diet. If that's the case, it's going to be a while before your body recovers enough to feel safe dropping any weight! Give yourself the time and space to heal, and ditch the scale in the meantime.
            You know... I never thought about that. Nice!

            Originally posted by Griff View Post
            Ways to measure health as well as fat loss:
            - Measurements
            - Clothing fit and sizes
            - Energy levels
            - Sleep patterns, restfulness, and refreshed-ness
            - Hunger patterns
            - To some extent, blood work (glucose levels, triglyceride and HDL levels, LDL patterns)

            So, the upshot: throw the scale away and refocus your goals. This isn't about weight loss. This is about living your life.
            While I am not going to ditch my scales anytime soon, you certainly have provided some food for thought regarding some of the "odd' scale behavior. I will definitely take all this into consideration when I feel frustrated at the scale. My wife is along the journey too and she has more frustrations than I with the scale. I will definitely have her read this.

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            • #66
              after being what I thought of as "inexplicably" up 3 pounds this am, I needed this. Thanks
              SW175ish GW140 CW157

              height 5'6"

              Official for real start date 1/10/12

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Apex Predator View Post
                If you have a mirror, I see no need for a scale.
                welcome to body dysmorphia :-/
                SW175ish GW140 CW157

                height 5'6"

                Official for real start date 1/10/12

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Drea6681 View Post
                  welcome to body dysmorphia :-/
                  As a female, I still find it difficult to believe the mirror. The mind plays tricks.
                  F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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                  • #69
                    thank you so much for this post!!! im a newbie and the scale is frustrating me!!! i feel good though so something must be working

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                    • #70
                      I think this is the best post I've read about weight anywhere. #3 and #6 were eye-opening. Thank you.

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                      • #71
                        *Bump*

                        Griff's post is so poignant.
                        Live Clean, Love Hard. Or vice versa.


                        Female! Height: 5'10.5" HW: 161 SW: 135 CW: 124 GW: Whatever number my body wants to be when I'm eating and moving well - trying to get that muscle mass up.

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                        • #72
                          Thanks for bumping this! This is a great post for everyone, not just newbs!

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                          • #73
                            I used to weigh myself every morning, and that would determine my mood to start the day.
                            Since going primal, I haven't weighed myself at all, and don't have any plans to do so in the near future. I may do it after the New Year, for the hell of it.
                            For me, one of the freedoms of primal eating and regular exercise is not caring what I weigh, because if I'm eating natural foods and exercising regularly, my weight will be healthy, no matter what the scale says.
                            I judge it by how my clothes fit.

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                            • #74
                              As an obsessive weigh-er, this post is just what I needed to see to help me break my bad habit- thank you!

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                              • #75
                                I finally stopped the every day weigh in when I saw progress in my measurements. So if my waist stays the same, or gets smaller, I finally figured out that the scale number is irrelevant.

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