(This is a great article for those on the HCG diet who exclusively use the scale to measure progress)
For Darcy McLeod, 28, fitting into her mother’s designer wedding dress was practically a lifelong dream. From the time she could pronounce the word “nuptials,” the Minneapolis-based paralegal coveted the dress which had been painstakingly preserved and stored in the attic. Emblazoning walls, mantle, side tables and of course the mammoth wedding album, glamorous photos of her mother in the size 6 pearl-encrusted silk shantung original pierced and warmed her childhood and adolescent years like white rays of sunlight. And on the eve of her own nuptials, though Darcy was only slightly overweight for her 5-foot-4-inch build, she was a size too big for the dress.
Six weeks into her diet, a goal to lose 12 pounds had not been reached. Darcy had followed a dietician-designed, high protein, portion-controlled diet, added lots of water, complex carbs, and all but eliminated refined sugar, but the scale wasn’t budging beyond an 8-lb. weight loss. Adding to her frustration was a 4x-a-week gym regimen (cardio and strength training) to which she faithfully adhered, plus an intractable date to walk her dogs a mile each evening. “I couldn’t understand it for the life of me,” McLeod said. “I never cheated…not once! Why wasn’t the scale moving?”
The Misinformation of the Scale
According to experts, the scale doesn’t only tell you how much fat you have. It registers everything else in the body as well, including water, fluctuations in glycogen (stored carbohydrates) and undigested food. People who insist on weighing themselves every day are doing themselves a disservice, often leading to misinformation and subsequent frustration (and extreme dieting) over an extra two or three pounds. Logically if you’ve had a big meal the night before, or consumed extra salt (ditch the chips), or had gotten thirsty and drank several glasses of liquid, the number on the scale may go up temporarily.
More importantly, and on a positive note, when exercise is included in a healthy weight loss program the body’s fat-to-lean- muscle ratio changes. As muscle weighs more than fat, at times it may appear that pounds have not been lost—or even that there is a slight weight gain—when in fact the emergence of a new, healthier body is manifesting in improved muscle mass—and inches lost. In this respect a tape measure can be more revealing than a scale, as can a mirror, and the simple act of trying on clothing a size smaller in the weight loss process can be the best gauge of all.
Measuring During Your HCG Diet
For McLeod, with the wedding looming on the horizon, fitting into the dress was the primary goal. Heeding what she’d later heard about inches vs. fat loss, seven weeks into her diet and exercise plan she decided to try it on again, surprised when it fit.
“I was so happy about being able to wear my mother’s dress, and in fact was feeling so much better physically and mentally anyway, I knew there was something bigger in a long range plan to be healthy,” she said. “What started out as an act of—I guess you could call it vanity—will turn into a lifestyle for me,” she conceded, anticipating a toned, fit, healthy body that will see her through the rest of her “happily married” life.