How Often Should I Weigh Myself?

by Suzanne Hiscock

A common question when it comes to weight loss is, “How often should I weigh myself?” You’ll find a variety of opinion as to whether it should be daily, weekly, monthly — or not at all!

Here’s a look at the different ways you can weigh yourself to help you decide what’s best for you:

Daily Weigh-Ins
At first glance, weighing yourself daily seems like a good idea, right? You’d see right away if you gained or lost weight from how you ate and exercised the day before. You’d be able to see whether you’re on track or not.

And, according to the National Weight Control Registry, 44% of their members who have lost 30lbs or more and kept it off for more than a year weigh themselves daily.

But can you handle what the scale says? The problem with daily weigh-ins is your weight fluctuates each day for a variety of reasons. For some people, it can be discouraging to see this weight fluctuation.

See: How to Create a 12 Week Weight Loss Countdown Calendar

If you weigh yourself daily, do it the same way, under the same conditions and at the same time of the day. And keep in mind that if the scale shows a jump of a pound or two, it’s highly unlikely it’s all “fat” you gained. To gain a pound or two of fat in a day, you’d have to consume over 3500 to 7000 calories more than you burn in a day.

See: 3500 Calories to Lose a Pound — Is Formula All Wrong?

Weekly Weigh-Ins
Weekly weigh-ins may be more motivating because you wouldn’t see the daily fluctuations. Instead you’d see a weekly trend of weight loss or weight gain and you could make changes in your eating or exercise, if needed.

See: FitWatch Exercise and Calorie Tracker

It’s up to you how often to weigh yourself, if you’re going to weigh yourself at all. But don’t sabotage yourself by focusing too much on weight. If you’re exercising a lot, it’s possible that you’re gaining some muscle and losing a bit of fat. The scale doesn’t show your body mass composition.

See: How Much Will You Weigh at a Certain Body Fat Percentage?

Here are a few more questions to ask yourself:

Should I Weigh Myself With or Without Clothing?
Clothes can make a difference, so your birthday suit is best. But if you’re wearing something light it shouldn’t effect the reading too much. Just do it the same way each time.

Should I Weigh Myself Before or After a Workout?
Weighing yourself before working out will give you a more accurate picture of your weight. After a workout, you’re likely to weigh less due to water loss. Don’t believe me? Weigh yourself before and after a cardio workout, just for fun. Chances are you’ll see some “weight” loss.

Should I Weigh Myself Before or After Eating?
This is a matter of personal preference, but keep in mind eating a heavy meal or drinking a lot will show up on the scale.

Whichever way you choose to weigh yourself, keep in mind the scale is one tool to help you stay on track. Please see below for many more ways you can track your progress. You can also track your measurements, pay attention to the fit of your clothes or rings, or track your body fat percentage.

And remember, you’re more than just a number on a scale!

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About the Author

Suzanne Hiscock is a PN1 Nutrition Coach, ACE-certified Health Coach, as well as an ACE-certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist. For over 16 years, she has been helping people lose weight and get fit through her website, Whether it's with one-on-one nutrition coaching, nutrition programs or courses, and tools or calculators, she can help you to eat better, move more and believe in yourself.