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.
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.
- MayoClinic.com: Weight Loss: 6 Strategies for Success
- Huffington Post: How Often Should You Weigh Yourself?
- Men's Health: 10 Strategies for Successful Weight Loss
- WeightLoss.com.au: How to Keep a Weight Loss Journal
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: Consistent Self-Monitoring of Weight: A Key Component of Successful Weight Loss Maintenance
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