You pull up to thanksgiving dinner, and oh gosh Aunty Comfort is coming by. The last time you saw her, she told you how fat you were getting.
“Oh, my daughter look at you! You look like you’ve lost weight? Are you eating? You need to eat more?”
What?! You have been taking more walks daily, but the scale still says 175. How could that be?
That’s the thing about weight. It fluctuates, and the scale doesn’t tell the entire picture. Here are three reasons.
1) Muscle does not weigh more than fat.
If you are doing more physical activity and building lean muscle, the lean muscle appears much smaller than the fat, but they weigh the same. Also, lean muscle assists with boosting your metabolism, which can contribute towards more fat being burnt while you are resting.
2) Is the scale broken?
Okay so, weighing yourself every day is probably going to do more harm than good. In the morning you are 216 lbs and then by night 220. Remember, this increase could be to several things such as water retention because of an increase in salt intake (that Quarter Pounder) or your hormones. Stay hydrated and watch your salt intake.
3) Weight does not equal health.
Weight bias refers to having negative attitudes towards and beliefs about others based on their body weight, shape, and/or size. You can be any size and any shape and still live a healthy lifestyle.
A HEALTHY WEIGHT IS THE WEIGHT YOU ACHIEVE WHEN YOU LIVE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Next time Aunty Comfort chimes in her two cents that you didn’t ask for, keep striving for the healthy lifestyle that works for you.
Also, my fellow RDs, weight stigma is something we as health professionals need to work collaboratively to address. I’ll be doing another post addressing weight stigma and factors that impact those being stigmatized.
Puhl RM, Andreyeva T, Brownell KD. Perceptions of weight discrimination: prevalence and comparison to race and gender discrimination in America. Int J Obes (Lond). 2008 Jun;32(6):992-1000. Abstract available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18317471
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