One of the many lifestyle tips that guests learn at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, N.C., is the importance of weighing yourself regularly. ”I’m always flabbergasted when people come into the center and have absolutely no idea they gained 50 lbs. in the last year,” says Dr. Ronald Sha, interim executive director of the center. Sha recommends weighing yourself daily or weekly, to keep yourself accountable.
It’s important to remember, however, that your weight can fluctuate day-to-day by several pounds. The point is that you want to keep track of weight changes over the long term, not from one day to the next. And don’t expect to see significant weight loss daily. “If you really starved yourself yesterday and spent hours at the gym, that doesn’t mean you’re going to see a 2-lb. weight loss — you might even see gain,” says Sha.
Depending on your size, the scale can shift from 1 to 3 lbs. day to day, so don’t be discouraged if you’re not seeing immediate results.
(PHOTOS: What Makes You Eat More Food?)
If hopping on the scale regularly holds you accountable for your weight, controlling exactly what and when you’re eating each day helps keep you focused on your goal, says Elisabetta Politi, nutrition director at the center. “You need to manage your hunger and eat at consistent times,” says Politi.
When you’re hit with sugar cravings at 4 p.m., it’s easy to load up at the vending machine. But if you prepare ahead of time, you can sidestep the potential slip: always make sure you keep healthy snacks on hand to counter the late-afternoon munchies. “When we are very hungry we think less about nutrition. If we are eating nutritiously throughout the day, we won’t be inclined to just grab something that’s not nutritious,” says Politi.
About the Duke Diet and Fitness Center:
Where It Is: Durham, N.C.
The Vibe: For more than 40 years, the Duke Diet and Fitness Center has been a proven leader in the straightforward, weight management immersion program. The center’s team of nutritionists, physicians and fitness experts help clients develop healthy lifestyle habits and practice incorporating into their daily routine. On average, clients lose about 5% of their body weight after the core four-week program.
What It Costs: Prices range from $1,750 for a one-week reservation to $6,775 for the four-week program.