Getting Trendy – and keeping perspective
It’s a new year, and many people are making New Year resolutions to lose some weight. Whether it is the holiday binges, or trying to make a lifestyle change, more people are stepping on the scale, hitting the gym, trying a new diet or just wanting to eat a bit healthier. With this post I hope to encourage people that are starting new goals and might be a little more vigilant on the scale to not get too concerned about what the scale shows day to day.
I’ve been on this losing weight train since April, but only recently have been getting more active about blogging my journey. I take a data-centric approach to my journey, looking at numbers of calories in versus calories out. I’m not focused on a specific diet plan, rather trying to cut down on junk carbs, limiting pure sugar, and making sure I’m fueled to have a regular exercise plan. One of the habits I’ve really taken to the past few months is daily weigh-ins.
I call daily weigh-ins a roller coaster ride, because even though I weigh myself daily at the same time wearing the same clothes, my weight fluctuates day-to-day. Here is an example of the last two weeks of data from my LoseIt.com data. Helpful to remember the first few data points, show the effect of Christmas, two birthdays and New Year celebrations. Also for the first half I was on vacation, and sleeping in, skipping breakfast and off my routine.
For two weeks, that is a decrease of about 2 pounds if I measure start date weight to end date weight. Measuring from peak to valley it is more like a 5 pound drop, but also a 3 pound increase in the middle. Here is lies the wackiness of trying to match the scale to consumption of calories, a gain of three pounds is the equivalent of 10,500 calories or roughly 18 Big Macs. Clearly something else is going on with the body holding on to water, solids or some dark matter associated with the peak. So intellectually, I get that peaks and jags up are to be expected and part of the ride. Emotionally, I need something to make me feel like I’m still meeting goals. This is where trend-line enter in.
This is the same daily weigh in data entered into my account at The Hacker’s Diet. The diamonds are the actual daily weigh in, with the red-line showing the calculated trend. If I measure the trend it shows about a one pound loss for the two week interval. Not bad, but I hope that it goes better as I get back into the normal swing of daily routine.
The thing to look at in trends is if the recorded weight is below the trend, you’re doing fine. Tipping above the line, re-evaluate your actions a little. Water intake for me is important, especially with sodium rich snack foods and munchies one might find around parties.
As with most of my posts, I’ll leave this on a positive note, and show you a couple of screens from an iPhone app I also use to keep me sane after I step off the scale each morning. These screens are from the iPhone app True Weight ($0.99 – iTunes App Store Link)
This show my progress for the last month, with a weighted average highlighted in white (weigh in data is shown in a light dotted line) and shows that despite the end of the year bump, I’m hitting inside my goal range of 1-2 pounds per week. This gives me the confidence to keep going each day, and not go into a pity party binge because of one lousy weigh in.