How Often Should You Weigh Yourself?

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Some people might feel anxious and upset after stepping on the bathroom scale and looking down at its reading. For those who can successfully maintain their weight, regular weigh-ins might feel pointless. Whether you're eager to lose weight or are just striving to keep the body you already have, weighing yourself daily is a simple way to avoid surprising weight gain.

Daily Weigh-Ins

  • Given that MayoClinic.com suggests it's possible for your weight to fluctuate by a couple pounds per week, it might seem senseless to weigh yourself daily -- after all, you're unlikely to gain a pound in a 24-hour span. But several experts, including weight-loss author Irene Rubaum-Keller, stress that weighing yourself once per day is the best way to keep up to date on your current weight.

Same Time Each Day

  • Your weight can fluctuate significantly throughout the day based on your diet and intake of liquids. To avoid misleading weigh-ins, Rubaum-Keller suggests weighing yourself at the same time every day -- ideally, as soon as you get out of bed. Keeping tabs on your day-by-day weight fluctuation allows you to not only monitor your weight, but also to evaluate what dietary changes affect your weight. For example, you might notice a spike in your weight the day after eating a significant amount of high-calorie food.

Tracking Your Results

  • If you plan to be meticulous about tracking your weight, keep a small notebook near your scale. Note the date and weight of each weigh-in, and jot down a few notes if you feel any diet or lifestyle change caused your weight to spike or dip. For example, if you took a five-hour hike, you might have burned enough calories to cause a slight dip in your weight, depending on the accuracy of your scale. Keeping a weight journal also provides accountability during everyday life; if you're anxious to lose weight, you might think twice about taking a third trip to the buffet.

Daily Monitoring Statistics

  • Even if it might seem like overkill, data shows that daily monitoring of your weight plays a significant role in weight-loss success. A study from the National Weight Control Registry found that among more than 3,000 participants, those who conducted daily weigh-ins had greater success losing weight and avoiding subsequent weight gain. Conversely, those who weighed themselves less frequently had an increased chance of weight gain.

References

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