Should we step on the scales?

Last week was Australia’s Healthy Weight Week. It encouraged many of us to step on the scales to see if we were a ‘healthy’ weight.  But is weighing ourselves really the best  indicator of health?

scales

 

When you step onto the scales your weight is a combination of

  • Bone mass
  • Muscle weight
  • Fluid
  • Fat

Strong bones are essential! They are achieved with a regular supply of calcium containing foods and weight bearing activities … but strengthening your skeleton will make you heavier when you next step on the scales.

Muscles are strengthened with regular and varied exercise. Strong muscles are great! They lift your metabolism, so your body is more efficient at burning up energy, even while you are resting. They also use up more fuel which can help some people manage their blood glucose levels.  But guess what? ….building muscles will make you heavier when you next step on the scales.

Our bodies need hydration! Being dehydrated is linked with negative health issues including headaches and constipation. Your body works better when you’ve been drinking plenty of water and avoiding dehydrating drinks like caffeine and alcohol. But while you’re making extra effort to stay hydrated… you’ve guessed it! You’re going to be heavier for it when you step on the scales.

Drinking Water

See where is this is going? Keeping hydrated, strengthening your bones and building up your muscles are all important for your health. But they can make stepping onto the scales disheartening. A better way to monitor whether you are losing fat is to measure your waist rather than your weight. Steadily losing centimetres around the middle is a great sign that the positive lifestyle changes you are making are working.

For people with type 2 diabetes losing fat around the middle helps to reduce insulin resistance. This means the insulin that your pancreas produces can do its job better and the glucose doesn’t hang around in your blood longer than necessary.

Reducing fat

There are many things you can do to reduce body fat. Today we’ll talk about avoiding kilojoule dense options, but feel free to call DIAL on 1300 136 588 for further tips!

Imagine this: morning tea rolls around and you are trying to choose a healthy snack. You consider a store-bought strawberry smoothie or a cup of strawberries. Basically the same thing, right? Not so much…

 

strawberry kilojoule dense example

That store-bought strawberry smoothie (1690KJ) roughly equals 10 cups of strawberries! You’d never eat 10 whole cups of strawberries in one sitting, so why drink it?

Tools to help

If you are keen to drop a few kilos, we have also just launched SHED-IT, an online weight loss program designed by men, for men. Click here for more info.

If you want to quickly compare the kilojoules in two snack options, Calorie King is a great tool. Click here.

If you have any questions call myself or the other Diabetes WA educators on 1300 136 588. 

Until next time,

Sheryl

sheryl header

Diabetes Educator and Accredited Practising Dietitian at Diabetes WA.

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