By Ayotunde Adeyeri, MD, FASMBS
Fact–the good old-fashioned scale is a definitive method for clinically measuring weight loss progress. But it can also be more of an enemy than a friend at times.
We’ve all been there—you feel healthy and ‘lighter’ because you’ve followed your weight loss plan, drunk gallons of water and exercised regularly. Then you step on the scale, only to be disheartened by the number you see.
There are several reasons why your weight may temporarily bump up– medications, bowel movement cycles, menstruation issues for women, consuming excess salt or fluid retention (especially right after surgery).
During these times, consider using these options to measure your weight loss progress:
1. Clothing fit
Use your favorite shirts, pants or skirts as a weight loss guide (except for stretchy fabrics). Are your clothes looser than a month ago? Surprise yourself—try on something that didn’t come close to fitting a month ago. You may be in for a pleasant surprise. Stop by a store and try on the size you think fits you. These are all great measurements of success.
2. Body measurements
You may have recorded your measurements before weight loss surgery. Pull them out and see how you compare today. If you don’t have any pre-op measurements, record your measurements today and then re-measure your chest, arms, waist, hips and thighs again in four to six weeks.
3. Take a face and full body shot (front and back) every month
It is hard to see the changes day to day, but monthly side-by-side pictures will show a marked difference. When you achieve your goal weight, these images will be very meaningful as they display your tenacity and determination throughout your journey.
4. Reduction or elimination of weight-related medical conditions & medications
If you struggled with diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or chronic joint pain before surgery, are the symptoms less severe now? Do you have more money in your pocket due to fewer medication requirements? Improving your overall health is one of the most important measures of bariatric success.
5. Improved social and economic status
When you lose weight, you become more social and improve your quality of daily life. For example, you no longer have to feel embarrassed by asking for a seatbelt extender and you can ride amusement park rides without feeling uncomfortable.
Weight loss has also been proven to improve job prospects, which can mean a bigger paycheck. Often, people gain the physical energy and confidence to go to college or complete advanced training, again boosting income potential.
6. Energy boost X 10
As you feed your body high quality fuel, not processed junk that leaves you feeling lethargic and sleepy, it’s going to reward you with more energy from dawn to dusk. As a result, you get more done, feel accomplished and emotionally empowered to succeed.
The next time you step on the scale, keep in mind it is only one measurement of success on your road to good health and weight loss.
Keep up the good work. You’ll get there.
Ready to start your weight loss journey in 2021?
If you have a BMI over 35 or more than 75 pounds to lose, a surgical weight loss solution may be the fastest and safest way to take off the extra weight, so you can get back to living your best life free from obesity.
Call our team of friendly and experienced bariatric and general surgery professionals at (732) 217-3897 to learn more, attend a bariatric informational seminar at Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, or schedule an appointment to meet personally with Dr. Adeyeri.