Do you know how often to weigh yourself? Our dietitian weighs in on how to foster a healthy relationship with weight monitoring

  • 2 Minutes Read

You may have heard different theories, but do you know how often to weigh yourself? Learn how to use weight monitoring to increase your weight-loss success.

How often to weigh yourself

Why knowing how often to weigh yourself benefits weight monitoring

Stepping on the "dreaded" scale is a valuable part of your weight-loss journey. Even if you aren't thrilled about the number produced, self-weighing allows you to notice small weight gains and losses. If you gain, making minor adjustments gets you back on track. If you lose, even a little, that's progress!

Daily weight monitoring, versus weekly or less often, is likely the best strategy for weight-loss success. For example, one study reported that dieters who weighed daily lost more weight (about 13 pounds more over six months). They also practiced more weight-loss behaviors than those who weighed themselves less frequently. In addition, a two-year study of people in weight-loss or weight-maintenance programs reported greater weight loss among those who self-weigh more often. It also reported less weight gain for maintainers. But get this- another study indicated that the consistency of self-weighing is a stronger predictor of weight-maintenance success than the frequency of self-weighing. So, knowing how often to weigh yourself matters very little if you don't do it regularly.

Although daily self-weighing is a wise strategy, weighing more than once a day is never helpful. Your weight will vary throughout the day based on your food and fluid intake and hydration level. So, it may foster an unhealthy relationship with the scale.

Pro weigh-in tips

You don't need a fancy or expensive scale to reap the advantages of consistent weight monitoring. Even if your scale differs slightly from the one at the doctor's office or gym, you will be able to monitor weight trends-that's what is most important.

Knowing when to check your weight is as important as knowing how often to weigh yourself. The best time to weigh yourself is in the morning after using the bathroom and before drinking or eating anything. If you weigh weekly, weigh yourself the same day of the week since your eating and exercise routines change depending on the day of the week.

Place your scale on a flat, level surface. Stand still with your weight evenly distributed between your feet. If you use a scale that measures body fat, step on barefooted. And no, unfortunately, you cannot rest your arms on the bathroom counter while weighing.

If you use a digital scale, change the batteries as recommended by the manufacturer or when you notice unexplained weight fluctuations.

Weigh in with MyNetDiary

Self-weighing is likely ineffective if you don't combine it with other weight-loss strategies, such as tracking your food and activity with MyNetDiary.

Tracking your regular weigh-ins allows MyNetDiary to adjust your targets to support your goal. Remember to update your weight under Weigh In on your dashboard or under Current Weight in MyPlan at least weekly. MyNetDiary syncs with Withings and Fitbit Aria scales, making it effortless to track your weight progress.

Downsides of the scale

The scale can be like the stock market, full of ups and downs. And as long as you don't let the "downs" cause you to sell your stock and reinvest in doughnuts, the power of regular weigh-ins helps you keep a routine.

Consider how weighing in makes you feel-if it empowers you, keep it up! On the other hand, if it creates anxiety or struggles with eating-disordered thoughts, perhaps you can develop a different measure of success. For example, you might evaluate whether your clothes fit better or whether your energy increases.

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Original contributions by Ryan Newhouse, Health Writer, MyNetDiary

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Weight Loss->Goals & Monitoring
Jun 30, 2021
Sue Heikkinen
Sue Heikkinen, MS, RDN, CDCES, BC-ADM, ACE-PT - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist Educator

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