How Often Should You Weigh Yourself?

When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s natural to want to check your progress often to see how you’re doing. You want to know whether your efforts are paying off, and how quickly. How often should you weigh yourself to ensure that you get the motivation you need without becoming discouraged?

First, keep in mind the scale is only one measure of your weight-loss success. Total body weight is not necessarily indicative of fat content. Besides, when you change your lifestyle, you may not only lose fat but also gain muscle, which weighs more. Therefore, other methods of tracking your success can be more accurate, such as body measurements and how your clothes fit.

Your weight can give you a general idea of how you’re doing, and most people do weigh themselves when they’re trying to slim down. Here are some guidelines on how to weigh for best results.

  • Avoid weighing every day – usually. For most people, weighing once a week or even once a month gives you time to focus on your lifestyle changes and increases the odds that you’ll see bigger results when you do weigh yourself. There’s one exception: if you are the type of person who is motivated by daily weigh-ins and it helps rather than hinders your efforts, then feel free.
  • Weigh yourself without clothes on. To achieve consistent accuracy, weigh yourself without clothes, shoes, or a towel, which vary in weight and skew your results.
  • Weigh first thing in the morning. Right after you wake up and use the toilet and before eating or drinking is the best time to weigh yourself. You won’t run into variables that change your weight such as food and liquid retention.
  • Weigh yourself at the same time during your cycle. For women, fluid levels vary throughout the month. Weigh yourself at the same time each month, whether it’s the first day of your period or a week after it ends.
  • Use another method, too. There are so many variables when it comes to bathroom scales that it’s best to back up your data with another method such as noting how that one pair of jeans fit or checking your waist measurement.

Remember that losing weight is about building healthy long-term habits. Focus on changing your lifestyle, not getting immediate results, and you’ll see amazing changes over the long term.

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