To be successful at weight maintenance, weight loss, or weight gain, you must monitor progress, and weighing or measuring yourself are easy ways to do so. Choosing the best method is easy – use the one you prefer or try both- but how often should you weigh or measure yourself? Daily, weekly, or monthly?
This is too infrequent. At one point on my fitness journey I regained 15lbs/7.5kg over a year because I kept avoiding the scale. When you don’t see the scale or measuring tape for long periods, you’re not accountable – you can pretend everything’s all right when it’s not. Confronting the scale stops weight regain! If former maintainers had weighed in sooner, they might have stopped the relapse turning into regain.
This is perfect for people who obsess over results. Now the scale won’t dictate your mood every morning. A four week break is just what you need to notice changes in other areas, such as endurance and body fat. If you’ve just started your healthy lifestyle, don’t expect immediate results. It took me four weeks to lose my first pound, but I’ve lost almost 80lbs since then. When the scale wouldn’t drop, switching to monthly weigh ins meant I could focus on being healthier.
The National Obesity Forum reports that 75% of the “3,000 subjects, who have lost weight successfully and maintained [their] weight loss for one year or more […] weigh themselves at least weekly” [Source]. When you consider daily and monthly weigh ins, it’s pretty clear why.
Daily fluctuations are unpredictable, and monthly weigh ins don’t show any progress for weeks. Weighing weekly is the perfect balance, but daily fluctuations might still be a problem if the scale rises on your weekly weigh in day. You’ll be left frustrated and upset over gaining/losing, unaware that tomorrow the scale will go down/up. I overcome this problem by weighing daily but only tracking ONE day. This means that even if the scale rises I know whether it was lower the day before, which means the regain wasn’t my fault. Then I choose which day to track.
Weighing daily keeps you accountable. You’re more likely to turn down seconds or thirds of tasty desert when the scale will rise tomorrow. It’s easy to indulge and work off the extra calories before a weekly or monthly weigh in day, but it’s not healthy if you go overboard by starving or exercising too much. Knowing I’ll see the scale tomorrow morning always keeps me on my toes.
Weigh Several Times a Day
This option is a VERY bad idea because it’s inaccurate. When you weigh first thing in the morning the number shows your body weight. Weighing later means the number now shows your body weight PLUS food, drinks, and natural fluctuations caused by various factors like exercise and high salt/sodium intake. This means your weight will ALWAYS rise throughout the day.
How often should you weigh yourself?
Only YOU can answer that. Read through each option again to see which one suits you. I don’t recommend weighing annually or more than once a day, so please choose between daily, weekly, or monthly weigh ins.
Still unsure? Don’t worry! You can always change your mind later. As long as you’re making progress, it doesn’t matter which one you choose.
How often will/do you weigh yourself?