It’s the holidays. It’s always the time of year we start to feel the weight of the world from our shoulders to our bathroom scales. We are in a state of extreme bliss mixed with profound despair as we navigate travel, out-of-town guests, family gatherings, parties and feasts with the underlying fear of what number our behavior will manifest.
To weigh or not to weigh: that is the question. Does the number on the scale decide your happiness each morning so that there is a distinct correlation between a lower reading and a better day? Can you go from hopeful and proud to instantly demolished, depressed and ashamed if you are up a measly half-pound from the day before despite all of your efforts? Do you punish yourself by skipping meals or adding frantic bouts of cardio? What is the fundamental truth about what that number means? A few thoughts:
FOCUS ON THINGS A SCALE CAN’T MEASURE:
- Body Composition
- Self Worth
MUNCH LESS. MOVE MORE. MIND MOST.
Here’s the scoop: recent studies show that the effects of exercise on weight loss are negligible. In fact, your metabolism tends to slow as you are dropping pounds regardless of how much you are exercising.
I see it over and over with my clients who are struggling to make changes and in the one’s who are successful: changing what and how much you eat is the only way to see the numbers lowering on the scale. And if you are looking for this miracle to last, this formula must be repeated over and over again until, ideally, it becomes habit. This might be something you have already figured out for yourself during a time of extreme discipline or after the stomach flu when you lose five stubborn pounds in a period of little or no exercise.
So why bother exercising if your goal is to lose weight? That’s a very individual question. But for me, the size of my body is less important than the function. And it’s not just the physical function I’m referring to. As vitality, agility, balance, coordination, strength and tone increase in your body, the same thing happens in your brain, which provides you with a greater capacity to do anything you choose, and makes it a lot easier to stick to healthy eating.
It’s why as health and wellness coaches, we encourage exercise along with healthy eating. Regardless of the end result, the means to getting there involves a shift in what you normally do. It involves eating and moving in a new way. And that requires a good plan, and lots of support.