Friday, December 24, 2021

Cheat Weight Watchers Weigh-Ins

Feet on bathroom scales

 How to Cheat
Bathroom Scales

Your Daily Weight

Did you know that two cups of morning coffee immediately add one pound to your body? I finally connected the dots on how this affects my daily weight! (PS: It doesn't really matter. Read on...)

I joined Weight Watchers over 20 years ago. At that time, WeightWatchers had two forms of accountability.

  • Record everything you ate. 
    • WeightWatchers assigned a point value to each food, and members were allowed a maximum number of points each day.
  • Stand on their scales once a week to measure your weight-loss progress.
I was astounded at how seriously...
...some WeightWatchers members took their weekly weigh-ins!

The weigh-in ceremony was important because week-to-week differences of even a half-pound were publicly acknowledged. Members were quite proud of a 3-pound loss over a month.

I remember one meeting in February. The temperature was cold enough for members to dress warmly to get to the meeting. I observed one woman change into her summer shorts and stand barefoot on the scales. She was taking her weekly progress very seriously, and she recognized that how she dressed made a difference!

Another time I noticed that a "woman of size" was carrying a 64-ounce bottle of water that she sipped on all day. I did not observe whether she had sipped on it before her weigh-in, but I suspect she did.

A 2013 TEDx talk speaker used a pool noodle to illustrate how your digestive track works. Basically, he said that food passes through you and it is up to your body to extract the nutrients.  (

From that video, I realized that the actual weight of food matters, but it (cough, cough) eventually passes. When I eat a big meal then the ounces and pounds of the food were immediately reflected on any scale. Later, at the other end, I can reduce my weight by a pound or two.

I also realized that the actual weight of liquids matters, and fortunately it eventually passes, too. Eight ounces of water immediately adds one-half pound to your body weight.

Cheating at Weight Watcher's Weekly Weigh-In

I promised you this advice for in-person interactions with their scale
  • Try to attend early an early meeting.
  • Limit food and drink for the 12 hours before, and don't consume anything after waking up until after your session with the scale.
  • As much as possible, empty your body of solids and liquids.
  • Extra advice: wear the same shoes and clothes that you did the previous in-person weigh-in. 
That last bullet of advice keeps you from gaining weight because you only changed shoes.

My Own Daily Routine

I try to stop eating early in the evening, then I weigh myself each morning, as soon as I wake up. 

Before my personal weigh-in, I make a trip to the bathroom to empty my bladder and bowels. Then I stand barefoot and mostly nude on the scales. That provides day-to-day consistency.

That is the weight I record. (A small cheat: I truncate instead of "rounding" the extra ounces on my digital scale. 235.8 pounds is recorded as 235.) 

I've learned to ignore small fluctuations because there may still be left-over food or liquid in my body that has not yet - and may not - have been metabolized.

I've learned to look at the results over an extended period of time. The green image on the right shows my weight change over 7 years.

Two cups of coffee later, I'm a pound heavier.

2 cups of coffee

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