OUTSMARTING THE FEMALE FAT CELL: DO YOU NEED TO PSYCHOLOGICALLY PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THE OFF PLAN? YOU MUST BE READY TO DISREGARD THE SCALE

The scale does not tell you how much muscle and fat you have; it only tells you how much your whole body weighs-muscle, fat, bones, and organs. It is impossible to evaluate how much fat you have lost-and how much muscle you have gained. The scale can also sabotage your efforts. If you discover you have gained a couple of pounds, you are depressed and eat. If you discover that you have lost a couple of pounds, you rejoice and eat to reward yourself. Any way you look at it, the numbers on the scale can make you eat.

I don't even have a scale in my office. When clients come in for their first appointment, they quickly scan the room and ask, "OK, where's the scale? In the closet?" When I tell them that I don't have one, they are surprised and sometimes a little perturbed: "You mean I fasted all day yesterday for nothing?" That's what the scale does to you. Do yourself a favor and throw away the scale or put it in the garage-at least for the next three months. Don't let the numbers on a scale determine how you feel about yourself.

If you find that you can't part with the scale, do not weigh yourself more than once a week and develop more of an intellectual rather than an emotional relationship with your scale. Keep in mind:

  • Weight can fluctuate as much as five pounds a day because of normal fluctuations in your body's water balance.
  • If you are premenstrual or recently had a high-salt meal, increased weight may be water weight.
  • Your weight on the scale gives you no indication of your fat mass and muscle mass.
  • Muscle weighs more than fat. If you are exercising and gain two pounds of muscle and lose two pounds of fat-the scale won't budge, but your body has.

Notice how your clothes fit and how you look in the mirror.

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Women's health

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