In all likelihood, the most common way you’ve measure your so-called dietary success or failure is by pounds lost. If you’ve lost down to your target weight, then you’ve won. If not, you’ve lost. But the reality is that over the long term, all of us will intermittently gain and lose small amounts of weight, even when we’re trying to lose it. For one, our water weight often fluctuates depending on what we’re eating. The reason why so many low-carb dieters lose weight fast is because the lack of carbohydrates causes them to lose glycogen stores from their muscles, and with this loss of glycogen comes a loss of a lot of water; as soon as they reinstate the carbs, the glycogen comes back to the muscles and attracts the water. That adds the pounds right back. So the first five to eleven pounds of weight loss on a low-carb diet is the fake loss due to a temporary loss of water. Instead of tracking your weight by a single goal weight of, say, 145 pounds, what you’re going to do is pick your weight class. You’re going to pick a range of weight that’s comfortable for you-say, 142 to 148 pounds (or 31 inches to 33 inches of waist size). When you divulge your weight to someone (not that anyone will be asking), it should never be in one number; you need to think of your weight as an ideal range. For one thing, this allows for the natural fluctuations that occur. For another, it also does something even more crucial to your psychological success: It stops you from focusing on some arbitrary number that promotes the idea of all-or-nothing success or failure. And it puts your mind in the right programming mode-to remind yourself that your body is supposed to change.
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