I’m often asked the question, “How often should I weigh myself?” You don’t have to look at the scale as if it’s some scary weapon in a horror movie! It’s just one tool to help you gauge your progress in any weight loss program.
Here are four points to keep in mind:
1. To accurately track your weight, make sure you’re weighing yourself on the same scale and at the same time of day.
I like to weigh myself in the morning before I’ve had anything to eat or drink. Remember, your weight fluctuates up to 5 pounds depending on how much sugar, salt or alcohol you had the night before, and how much you’ve exercised. Even drinking a glass of water before you weigh yourself can effect your weight. It’s best to have a target weight of about 2% of your total weight to allow for this natural fluctuation.
If you prefer to weigh yourself once a week, listen to this…A new study found that the best day to weigh yourself is Wednesday, because it’s the furthest day from the weekend. And as we’ve all experienced, the weekend is when we tend to dine at restaurants and eat more chaotically.
2. Whether you weigh yourself once a day or every day depends on whether or not the scale is a motivator for you.
If you find that weighing yourself every day causes you to becoming obsessive about your exercise and eating plan, that’s a sign that you may want to step on the scale less. If you’re motivated by checking the scale once a week, then keep up on that routine. In fact, once a week is the most common recommendation for those who are trying to lose weight. At the same time, the National Weight Control Registry found that people who keep off their weight tend to step on the scale daily so they aren’t caught off-guard, and can get to work right away when they see an unpleasant result.
3. It’s a bad idea not to weigh yourself.
Studies show that people who weigh themselves are more likely to lose weight and then keep it off! Weighing yourself keeps you accountable to your exercise and eating plan.
4. Even if the numbers don’t say what you want, don’t panic!
If this happens, just use it as motivation, and make an extra effort to achieve your goal for the next week. Start focusing on eating lean proteins and foods that are high in fiber, and chances are that you’ll start to see the pounds melt away. And remember, the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. Think about these points instead:
- How do my clothes fit?
- Is my body firming up, even if the scale isn’t going down? (That means you’re replacing fat with muscle!)
There are no hard fast rules about weighing yourself. It all depends on whether weighing yourself boosts your confidence or undermines your motivation. So whether you decide to weigh yourself once a week or daily, the key is to use the feedback to inspire you to live a healthier lifestyle. Don’t let the scale run your life, because the only one running it is you!
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I’m curious…how often do you weigh yourself? Let me know in the comments below.
Here’s to your health!