How regularly do you have your obese clients weigh themselves?
I am working with a client who is very new to exercise and has over 150 lb to lose. I want her to be able to measure her progress, but I don't want her to have to get on the scale too frequently because the scale brings up negative emotions. How often would you recommend client weigh-ins?
Remember, the client realyy wants to lose bodyfat, not just weight, and if being trained properly will understand that even if their weight does not drop for a week or two, their bodyfat percent should.
The most important thing is don't let them become discouraged by a plateau and go into self-sabotage mode where they just give up!
Bradford has some good points. I usually tell my clients not to worry so much about it and maybe weigh them once every 2 weeks is usually good enough. I like for them to focus more on their overall progress and not been stuck on how much they weigh. The problem is that even if I tell them not to get on the scale any sooner than that, they do it anyway. Body fat is more important than total weight. Also how their clothes feel and look is another way to measure progress and the most important one is how they feel regarding their energy level, mood and overall state of mind.
I also suggest that they take it 20 pounds at a time, it's too daunting to focus on losing 150.
Motivation comes in many forms, this is one form of accountability.
it seems that you are only just starting with this client, so you probably won't know her all that well yet. You are aware, though, that emotions and her weight have a relation.
If she is okay to weigh once a week, that's great. Susan's point of only shooting for 20 lbs. at a time is right on. Nobody can visualize losing 150 lbs.
While the points about body fat are valid, at that amount of weight, any estimate of body fat will be highly inaccurate, and it will be better to go with weight alone. I also would only use one measurement; the waist would be best.
Be prepared for a very rocky road. At that weight, the client is likely to have health and/or mobility issues that will make the start difficult.
I wish you and your new client best of luck.
How to measure? Keep her focused on how her clothes are fitting as you make inroads.
My two cents!
I've found, that it depends on the client. I often have a conversation with the client to see what they want. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but I want our sessions and their experience with exercise and healthy living/nutrition to be a positive and uplifting one. I want them to look forward to our working together, learning more, changing lifestyles and not worry about the scale and the possible negative connotation that can take. So I ask them. How do they feel about weighing in weekly?
Some of my clients LOVE IT! They jump at the chance! They chart their progress, look over my shoulder as I jot in on their chart/graph. They're excited to see how they're progressing or where they need to make changes. And we talk about both depending on what the numbers are telling us.
I have other clients who have been on the weight loss/gain roller coaster for years and just can't take another set back. The scale sends their self worth plummeting. I don't want that! So we don't weigh in as often, maybe once a month. We focus on what changes they're making. How they're feeling. Did they "move" more this week. Make food substitutions. Work on personal issues that affect their weight. We discuss what food means to them and how we can change perceptions. We take a different approach.
You'll know which category your client falls into by asking them that question. And they'll appreciate another approach than just the scale. Remember, we're trying to improve overall health and lives, not just a number on a scale!
This is where personal training becomes personal. It depends on how the client views weight with success in their program.
I also focus more on the healthy lifestyle habits that contribute to how the clothes fit and how the client is feeling... better or the same.
All clients are different; so, this is where I must go with the flow...weighing weekly or monthly, or not telling the result to the client.
For a large goal like that, I also cut it down into smaller goals for the client to see progress and remain motivated.
Hope this helps,