Stress Less About the Scale

Do you weigh yourself every day? Do you worry about even the slightest change in your weight? If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, you may be too focused on the scale — and if you're trying to maintain healthy habits, this behavior can actually be counterproductive, since there are many factors that can cause your weight to fluctuate from one day to the next.

Fluid retention, hormonal shifts, constipation, and even the food you ate right before stepping on the scale can all cause daily weight fluctuations. These variations can be misleading and worrisome if you don't understand them. For an accurate measurement of your weight, weigh yourself only once each week and on the same scale every time (different scales may give different readings). An even better method of measuring your success is to let your belt and your health be your guide. If your clothes fit better and you feel better, then you're doing fine — even if the bathroom scale doesn't show big changes.

Ultimately, it's up to you to stop focusing on the scale. Weight loss takes time, so patience is required. Remember, slow and steady wins the race, and if you're practicing good weight-loss habits like those recommended by the South Beach Diet, you’ll not only enjoy better health but those extra pounds will gradually come off — and stay off.

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