A weight fixation as defined in the book 'Coach Yourself Thin' by Hottinger and Scholtz is when a person involved in a weight loss program becomes, "so focused on a number that pops up on the scale that it interferes," with their ability to remain consistent with their weight loss program and see the progress they may be making.
When a person whether young or old has such a fascination with the amount of pounds lost in any given week, the scale becomes the dictator of their success or failure. If the numbers on the scale go down it has been a good week, if the scale stays the same or goes up there is a feeling of defeat.
Shows like the Biggest Loser are built around the quick fix method of weight loss where with a lot of exercise and a drastically discounted amount of calorie intake the pounds drop off in the double digits. On the show each time one of the contestants steps on the scale and loses ten, fifteen or even twenty something pounds per week, people at home sit back and think, "I need to focus more on the scale and then I can lose more weight."
The Biggest Loser offers proof that rapid weight loss can be achieved by focusing on caloric intake and exercise. This years Biggest Loser winner, Rachel Frederickson, caught a lot of flack for restricting her daily caloric intake to only 1,600 calories but she did lose an additional 45 pounds after leaving the ranch.
However, there are some downsides to rapid weight loss besides the health risks. According to Weight Watchers, "Cutting too many calories, especially when following a “quick-fix” diet that restricts certain food groups, can actually cause your metabolism to slow during weight loss. This occurs because your body becomes more efficient, requiring fewer calories to perform the necessary daily functions for survival."
Another drawback with rapid weight loss is that it doesn't give your body time to adjust and many who lose the weight fast find themselves gaining a lot of their weight back.
In their book Hottinger and Scholtz also state,many times "weight fixation is also driven by the fact that it feels good to be noticed." by others. Compliments bread success, but when the compliments stop sometimes their is a letdown and the ambition to lose weight might just go out the window.
There is a way to beat weight fixation. While it is not easy, the key is to remember that losing weight is not a diet it is change of life. Therefore it is extremely important to take off the pounds sensibly using a combination of eating right and exercise. Use the scale as a tool, not as a motivator. If there comes a time when the scale does not move, don't give up, push forward the weight loss will come. Remember the key is get healthier, have more energy and feel better.
Also remember the average recommended weight loss is one toe two pounds a week.