7/21/2020 – Looking Beyond the Number on the Scale

The most recent group online coaching meeting (July 21, 2020) hosted by Dr. Tro’s Medical Weight Loss & Direct Primary care centered its discussion around weight-loss deception and the battle with the number on the scale. We discussed a recent blog post by Health Coach Amy Eiges, in which she described a harrowing experience with “that evil metal box”. We also discussed other topics, including recovering from a cheat meal, cheat week, cheat month or getting back on track after a long-time layoff.

Dr. Tro Kalayjian, DO, and Health Coaches Amy Eiges and Brian Wiley spent a significant portion of the meeting discussing options and strategies on how to recover and to be kind to yourself, as well as how to use these moments as learning experiences instead of treating them as failures.

The Group Coaching meetings are held every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. EDT. To register, sign up here.

The more than 50 participants on the Zoom call heard Tro, Amy and Brian talk about their personal experiences with these situations and ways in which they dealt with them. Practical strategies and defenses were also presented, and suggestions were given to avoid letting these situations get out of hand and result in a derailment of progress.

Amy went into detail on her recent battle with the scale and provided great insight on how to look past the number and analyze other metrics that are far more important. The number on the scale rarely tells the whole story. Brian shared an experience he had overindulging in keto treats that started off as a holiday replacement, but spiraled into a six-month daily habit.

Dr. Tro shared some very interesting studies in his weekly scientific discussion. One study showed how a low-carb diet reversed fatty liver in just nine days and another showed how switching out sugar for starch can resolve fatty liver quickly. Another study showed how the ketogenic diet can reverse fatty liver in as little as six days, and another revealed that four weeks of low carb can reverse metabolic syndrome. Tro also illustrated the powerful effects of intermittent fasting and how it works.

“These studies demonstrated how fatty liver and metabolic syndrome can be quickly reversed,” said Dr. Tro. “it’s important to realize that ‘cheating’ should not be viewed as a moral failure, but something that can be course-corrected quite easily and quickly.”

The following studies were shared during the meeting:

The following key messages were emphasized:

  • The number on the scale does not define your success, there are more important metrics like how you feel, how your clothes fit, how your blood work is, measurements, and where you’re currently at compared to before you started.
  • If you slip you need to understand its natural and be kind to yourself, instead of beating yourself up use it as a learning experience, figure out why it happened and how you can prepare and put defences in place to avoid it happening again.
  • Your brain will find a way to seek reward and take advantage of any situation to rationalize going off plan, breaking fasts, and eating more. Be mindful of this and try your best to prepare for those situations.
  • The scale number is not the one and only measure for success.

Participants had the chance to ask questions (directly on the Zoom call, in advance via email, or through Zoom chat), and Amy, Brian and Dr. Tro took turns responding. The participants, along with Dr. Tro, Amy and Brian shared victories, struggles, strategies and insights on their own journeys. Some of the highlights included:

  • The scale and the refrigerator are often both evil metal boxes.
  • Many people discussed having normal five-pound weight fluctuations. The good news is the realization that it’s mathematically impossible to have gained that much weight over one meal, and it’s typically gone in a day or two.
  • Getting back to basics is a great go-to strategy when you’ve slipped or are trying to figure out why the scale is moving up or not going down while staying low carb.
  • An important thing to do during a struggle with the scale, or after a cheat is to not beat yourself up, accept that it happened, be kind and forgive yourself, and get back on track. If you had a small chip in your windshield you wouldn’t get a baseball bat and smash all the windows out of your car.
  • Making small changes, forgiving yourself, and showing self love are best for recovery. Pulling top many levers, like long fast, upping cardio & exercise, and severely restricting can backfire in many cases..

July 28 Group Coaching Meeting Topic:

The topics to be discussed at the July 28 meeting include:

  • New goals, next steps
  • Socializing post-quarantine
  • Any additional thoughts on cheating/low carb replacements/binging low carb, and getting back on track
  • Dealing with those last pounds to lose and/or addressing those with less to lose
  • Levers – we will begin talking about exercise (exercise will be continued more in-depth next month)

Article by Brian Wiley

Brian Wiley is a Certified Health Coach who struggled to lose weight for most of his life. He attempted most of the mainstream approaches, along with the standard advice to “eat, less move more.” This advice resulted in minimal short-term success, or no success at all. Brian then adopted a low-carb lifestyle in 2009, and succeeded in losing 100 pounds. He has maintained that weight loss ever since using a low-carb ketogenic IF lifestyle. "I see people every day, both in real life and on social media, struggling, going through the same cycles of unsuccessful dieting like I did. I want to serve as an example that this approach can be successful, is not a fad, and is a healthy long-term lifestyle solution." Brian is also an ACE certified personal trainer.