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To Weigh or Not to Weigh

By Dana Babeu, R.D. | October 14, 2020

 

If you switched to telemedicine appointments instead of office visits, regular weigh-ins during monthly pre-operative or medical weight loss may have been harder. If you don’t have a scale or you were trying to avoid seeing the number it may be tempting to think of this as a good thing, but the truth is avoiding the scale doesn’t help you meet your goals, and it may even hurt your chances of getting the most from your insurance benefits. For patients looking to have weight loss surgery or participating in a medical weight loss program, accurate weight is one of the necessary parameters used to verify if someone meets the guidelines for insurance coverage. In a nutshell, if you’re not regularly weighing at your doctor’s office, it may be time to dust off (or get) a home scale.

 

Tips for Using the Scale:

  • Set a regular schedule for weigh-ins and stick to it.
  • Recognize that the number is one piece of the puzzle, not the entire picture.
  • Consult with your physician or dietitian when you see an increase or decrease of more than 5-10 pounds from your personal goal or maintenance weight. 
  • Before you panic, look for relationships between lifestyle choices and weight such as time of the month, big events, holiday weekends, lack of exercise or sleep and certain food-related behaviors. These can all trigger unwanted weight gain or loss. 

If you don’t have a scale, consider weighing yourself at any in-person doctor’s visit as well as a friend or family member’s house. You can then report this weight to your bariatric surgeon and registered dietitian during a virtual appointment. 

Weight fluctuates every single day. Assess how your body feels and functions in relation to weight. Pay attention to how you feel during everyday activities, exercise, sleeping and just living in general to get a sense of what weight helps you live your best life. 

It’s important to have a balanced use of your scale. Have a set schedule and weigh yourself no more than 2-3 times per week. If having a scale at home leads to overuse or other unhealthy tendencies, schedule an appointment with one of our nutritionists. Our NJBC article on improving your relationship with your scale may also be helpful. https://www.njbariatriccenter.com/improving-your-relationship-with-your-scale/

 

Dana Babeu, RD, is a registered dietitian at New Jersey Bariatric Center, a medical & surgical weight loss center with offices in Springfield, Somerville, Hoboken, East Brunswick, Hackettstown and Sparta, New Jersey. She provides pre-operative and post-operative nutritional counseling to New Jersey Bariatric Center’s Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve, LAP-BAND (gastric band) and revision patients, in addition to dietary counseling for patients in our Medical Weight Loss program.
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