Many clients want to know how often they should weigh themselves. Some mistakenly weigh several times throughout the day. There’s nothing you’ll learn when you do that and it even can create disappointment. Throughout the day your weight will fluctuate, which is why I always tell clients to weight themselves at the same time of day for the best results, but not to weigh more than once in that day. It takes longer than a few hours to see true results.
Weighing in once a day is too much if you’re prone to getting discouraged.
Lots of things can make the scales tip heavier or lighter, besides true weight loss. Water retention is one of those. A salty meal or the monthly bloat can account for gaining a few pounds, even though they’ll come off quickly as you flush your system. However, if you’ve followed a healthy diet closely and exercised regularly, seeing that extra pound or two can be depressing. You also may find that you’ve lost a pound for whatever reason, after you’ve binged the previous day. That is too misleading and can cause you to end the effort if you see higher numbers the next day.
One study shows that people who weighed in more stuck with healthy eating habits more.
One study of obese adults showed that people who weighed more often lost more weight than those who didn’t. The study lasted two years. The conclusion was that it may have helped stop the people weighing in more often from going back to old eating habits and helped them control weight gain by maintaining modified eating habits and not allowing it to get out of control. This contradicts the advice from most weight loss programs.
Consider your personality.
Are you easily discouraged? Frequent weigh-ins may not be the best solution. Do you like the idea of tracking your progress? Weighing daily and recording results may be suitable for you. You do have to be aware that there will be fluctuations in weight and not to draw conclusions based on a few days. By recording results, you’ll see a pattern form. If you enjoy charting, track your workout and create an eating diary.
- If you hop on the scale daily, making certain to do it at the same time each day, do it the first thing in the morning before you eat.
- Watch for plateauing if you’re exercising. Plateauing can occur for a number of reasons. If you’re exercising, it may simply mean that you’ve built more muscle mass or it could mean you need to vary your workout.
- Have your go to tight clothing ready to give you more feedback. If you’re like most people, you have a pair of pants or other clothing that’s a bit too tight. Try on that clothing once a month, especially if you’re exercising, to get a clearer view of your progress. No weight loss and loose clothing means more muscle.
- Especially at first, women should be aware there will be monthly fluctuations due to their cycle. Don’t panic, gaining a pound or two during that time isn’t a tragedy. It comes off quickly within a few days.