Should you weigh yourself every day? What should you do if you slip up on your diet or meal plan?
According to Dr. Glenn Livingston, the author of Never Binge Again, you should weigh yourself every day while on his eating plan. This allows you to track your progress and to be accountable when you slip back into your binge eating habits.
Continue reading to learn why Livingston says to weigh yourself every day and for advice on staying on track.
Weigh Yourself Every Day
Weighing yourself every day gives you continuous feedback on how you’re doing. It allows you to make fast corrections before you spend weeks going off track.
Think about how you drive. Do you open your eyes for a second, adjust the wheel, then close your eyes for 5 seconds hoping for the best? Obviously not. You make tiny corrections in fractions of a second.
Weighing yourself is the same. Ideally, weigh yourself at the beginning of every day, so you can adjust your eating plan for the rest of the day.
Any decision NOT to weigh yourself is the Pig convincing you not to because you’ll feel bad. But without knowing you’re going off course, it’ll be much easier to Binge.
- Pig Squeal: So much can change day to day! How salty was your meal last night? Did you poo this morning yet? Did you exercise? Maybe you should spend some more time to empty yourself first, and meanwhile let’s binge!
- Response: What matters isn’t my literal weight today, it’s the overall trend. Even if I gained a pound compared to yesterday, I shouldn’t feel bad for the whole day—I should follow my food plan like any other day.
- Pig Squeal: The scale is just a number. Are you going to let it define you? Better not to worry about it.
- Response: Your heart rate is also a number, and it matters if that number is 0. These important numbers exist whether you look at them or not. By looking at them, you take control and can make better decisions.
- Pig Squeal: Congratulations! You’re 5 pounds down! Take it easy—it’s time to binge!
- Response: I committed to following my food plan 100%. It doesn’t matter how much progress I’ve made, I’m following the plan. Also, if I haven’t reached my goal yet, I can’t take it easy.
- Pig Squeal: You gained weight! You’re pathetic! Just give up and be content with being fat. You’re obviously never going to make progress.
- Response: First, recent factors might have caused my weight to change [it can vary by up to 5 pounds based on your diet.] Next, even if I’ve had a setback, the strong thing to do is to get back on course.
Perfection and Making Mistakes
Here’s the attitude to adopt: You will NEVER binge again. Remove the possibility of failure from your mind. Do not think, “I’ll try”—think “I will.” This is the only attitude that succeeds with impulse control.
Stick to the food plan to perfection. Don’t give yourself 90% leeway—multiplied over days, this exponentially decreases the effectiveness until you’re back to 0. Just like a drop of sewage ruins a bottle of champagne, don’t eat even one spoonful off your food plan. This counts as binging. The only way to maintain 100% is to stay at 100% every day.
Consider marriage vows. Does anyone say, “There’s a 90% chance I’ll stay committed to you, but there are a lot of attractive people out there, so no guarantees!” No—the only good commitment is a 100% commitment.
But—if you fail, don’t be ashamed. Forgive yourself.
Treat yourself like a child who’s genuinely trying to accomplish something important. If your 5-year-old daughter wants to learn to ride a bike but falls off, would you say, “OK, this is a sign that it’ll never work. You should never even try again, it’s just hopeless.“
Don’t make yourself feel weak for making a mistake. It takes strength to get back up again. The weak give up entirely after a mistake, and that’s what the Pig wants you to do.
Picking yourself back up again is exercising your strength. Pause and reflect on what went wrong.
- Your Pig will want you to avoid reflection because it gets the chance to Binge again. Do not use guilt avoidance as an excuse.
- Remember the depth of your commitment before you binged. You took a serious oath to commit to your food plan. You must take a mistake seriously to figure out what went wrong.
The simple way to never binge again is to never binge again.
How do you resolve the paradox of believing in perfection before a binge, while recognizing after a binge that you’re fallible and can make mistakes?
- To believe otherwise is to invite the slightest opening for the Pig, and the Pig will take a mile.
- After each binge, you should believe that you’re ready to renew your vows again and dedicated to never binge again.
- No matter how many times it takes, you must continue to believe that you will Never binge again. Over time you will get stronger, better at hearing Pig Squeals, and have weaker cravings.
Binges occur most often because you failed to hear the Pig’s Squeal, not a problem with the food plan. So reflect carefully before thinking about changing the plan.
Pig Squeals on Mistakes
Pig Squeal: Well, you’ve violated one food rule, so what’s the point of following the others? It’s either 100% or 0%. Give in now, and you’ll do better tomorrow.
Response: If you fail by 1%, don’t take it as an excuse to fail by 100%. If you take a bite of a Never food, does it make sense to go out and buy a box of donuts and a pound of chocolate bars, and go to town?
If you jaywalk and violate a law, does it make sense for you to then steal a car, because if you’ve broken one law you might as well break them all? Of course not.
If an Olympic archer misses the bullseye once, this is no excuse to shoot the rest of her arrows off-target.
Catching Binges earlier and doing a lot less damage has material benefits.
- Pig Squeal: Dwell on your guilt! You should feel terrible about yourself for days, weeks! This will make up for your binge. This way you know that if you binge in the future, you’ll be able to make up for it by feeling guilty!
- Response: The only purpose of feeling guilt is to recognize the mistake and improve for the future. There’s no use dwelling on guilt after that point.
- If you burn yourself on a hot stove, do you walk around for a month beating yourself up afterward?
- Do not use feeling extra guilty as an excuse to binge the next time, as though you’ve “paid off your debt.”
- Do not make guilt feel like the payment for a binge. This will make it easier to binge next time, knowing you’ll make up for it with guilt.
- Pig Squeal: Don’t feel any guilt! Don’t even think about your mistake. Just forget your food plan, because you’ll always fail at some point, and then you’ll just feel guilty again!
- Response: Guilt is a natural healthy response to bad behavior, so you can correct it. You should not eradicate it entirely. Treat your vow to follow your food plan as serious. Breaking it is serious and requires reflection.
- Pig Squeal: Look at your failure. You’re weak! How many times are you going to do this before you accept it’s impossible? 100% perfection is lunacy. It’s only a matter of time before I get out again.
- Response: A weak person gives in and gives up, but I will keep renewing my vow to forever lock the Pig in its cage.
- As long as I stay 100% committed to dominating the Pig, I will make steady progress until I beat it into submission.
- I have full control over my behavior. Therefore I always have 100% ability to keep the Pig caged. If I can Never Binge Now, I will Never Binge Again at any point in the future.
- Pig Squeal: Just taking one spoonful off isn’t a Binge. This is too strict! One spoonful never hurt anyone.
- Response: A Food Plan is 100% clear on what’s allowable and not. Deviating from this invites fuzziness, and fuzziness invites the Pig to take a mile.
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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Glenn Livingston's "Never Binge Again" at Shortform.
Here's what you'll find in our full Never Binge Again summary:
- How to lose weight, stop using social media, exercise more, and work harder
- How to create a food plan and follow it 100%
- Why you shouldn't be ashamed of yourself if you make a mistake