In the last post (here), we saw that daily weigh ins can be frustrating, especially for those who may be emotional eaters, have low self-esteem, body image issues, or have an eating disorder. But what if I told you it creates more than just frustration? What if it’s the reason why you can’t lose weight?
Let me explain. Even though we may not consider weight and the thought of weighing ourselves stress, it still is. It may not be as extreme as work or family-related stress, but it is still considered a chronic low-level stress. Why do we care? Stress has many impacts on our bodies and health, one of them being increased body fat and loss of muscle mass.
When stressed, your body goes into a “fight-or-flight” response and releases stress hormones to make sure you have enough blood sugar to fight off the stress. One of these hormones is cortisol, which leads to muscle loss. Cortisol signals your muscles to breakdown so that the amino acids released (protein building blocks) get converted to sugar in the body. This is important during acute-stress, but may be problematic if it’s a chronic stress.
Other than the biological response to stress related to daily weigh ins, the dissatisfaction also often leads to dieting and restriction. You don’t need me to tell you that this can work against you. We start by saying no to every morsel of “unhealthy” food we see. You resist temptation, but at some point, you give in. Now, instead of eating 1 cookie, you eat the whole box, leading to feelings of guilty. So what happens? You restrict again and the cycle continues.
Now that we see the scale can do more harm than good, why are we still so obsessed with the number on the scale? Does that number tell other what kind of person you are? Will you feel better at a different number? Will you be happier if you go below a certain number? Questions to think about!
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