How Often Should You Weigh Yourself

How Often Should You Weigh Yourself?

Picture this: You’ve decided to lose weight. You start exercising consistently and make adjustments to your eating habits. After following your plan for a while you figure it’s time to weigh yourself. So you step on the scale and find out the numbers have changed. Excited and eager to see the numbers on the scale move, you decide to weigh yourself more often. It becomes an obsession and consumes more space in your life than it really should. Does this sound familiar?

I’m taking the stress out of your weight loss and discussing how often you should weigh yourself to stay motivated and keep on track with your weight loss goals.

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Firstly, I want to put it out there;

It is OK to love your body and still want to lose weight.

Body positivity and weight loss are not conflicting concepts. They are not mutually exclusive, and without generalising, weight loss gets a heck of a bad rep in the body positivity community.

Of course, you can be fat and happy with your body, but in order to be truly positive about your body, you need to set good intentions and goals on how to look after your body. I.e loving the body that you’re in. How better to love your body than to look after it by leading a healthy lifestyle?

Therefore, If you’re embarking on a mission to look after your body by losing weight, a great way to get a picture of your current health and to measure your progress is to weigh yourself. Of course, the scale doesn’t give you a complete picture of your current make up and therefore should be closely followed by taking your measurements to give a true representation of your starting position.

One thing to be aware of though is that it is very easy to become fixated with results when starting a new regime. We’re living in an age when we expect instant results but some things cannot and should not be rushed. Arguably losing weight falls into this category. It’s better to lose weight gradually and maintain the results than to lose a lot of weight quickly then put it all back on again just as fast as it fell off.

It’s a great feeling to get excited about your new mission to lose weight but it’s worth acknowledging that it’s not healthy to get obsessed over the number on the scale. It’s just a number and not a true representation of your overall health and it can also negatively impact your self-esteem.

With this in mind, let’s have a look at how you can weigh yourself without impacting your mental health.

What Do You Need To Weigh Yourself At Home?

If like most of the population, you plan on weighing yourself at home you will need a set of scales. This is obvious. However, there are a variety of scales on the market that can not only measure your weight but calculate your body fat percentage, body mass index, total body water percentage, bone density and even your total daily energy expenditure plus so much more.

Not to mention that increases in technology have meant that a whole host of scales can now be paired with your smartphone via an app to record all of these measurements.

If you’d like to get a good overview of your current health and to measure your progress over time, I highly recommend the Renpho Bluetooth Scales that allow you to track 13 metrics by synching up to your smartphone or tablet. These scales are a very helpful bit of technology and provide more context for your health and fitness levels than just a number of your weight.

Where Can You Weigh Yourself For Free?

Alternatively, if you don’t want to weigh yourself at home, or would prefer to weigh yourself with some assistance, many pharmacies, gyms and health centres will have a set of scales that you can use to measure your weight.

Tips For Weighing Yourself

Managing your weight can be tricky to navigate, whether you’re aiming to lose weight, maintain your current weight or gain weight. In fact, the scale can be tricky to navigate.

Weight fluctuations are common because there are a lot of factors that go into determining your weight. These can include how hydrated you are, what you have eaten and how recently you have eaten. Not to mention your bathroom habits, temperature and your exercise routine.

A little weight fluctuation here and there doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve gained fat but more so that your body is doing what it needs to do to regulate itself and to function.

With this in mind I have a few tips for weighing yourself that will help to start your mission on the right foot:

  • Weigh yourself at the same time of day
  • Weigh yourself without wearing any clothes
  • Keep a record of your weight (and any other measurements) to track your progress
  • Use the same scale in the same room in the same position to ensure maximum accuracy
  • Recalibrate your scale often

What Are The Best Conditions For Weighing Yourself?

I touched on this above with my tips for weighing yourself but I’ll go into a little more detail here. In order to weigh yourself properly, you need to set up the right conditions.

Weighing yourself at the same time of the day each time you step on the scale allows you to set a baseline for your weight and enables you to accurately track your weight loss, maintenance or weight gain.

So what is the best time of day to weigh yourself? Well, this has been discussed at length by quality sources such as Healthline, Women’s Health, Medical News Today, and NHS. The conclusion is the best time to weigh yourself is first thing in the morning after using the bathroom but before breakfast. This allows your body to have performed its digestive functions and remove any bodily waste prior to your first cup of coffee or slice of toast.

Should you wear any clothes when you weigh yourself? No. You should aim to weigh yourself fully naked to avoid adding clothing weight to your body weight.

Don’t go blindly weighing yourself or taking your measurements without keeping a record to track your progress. Chances are you’ll forget all the numbers and you won’t be able to analyse your results.

It’s very easy to keep a record of your weight and measurements nowadays. If you use the Renpho Bluetooth Scales you will be able to record all metrics on the app provided with the scales. However, other apps such as MyFitnessPal allow you to record your weight and measurements too.

If you’d prefer not to use smart technology then, you can keep a simple log on your phone or in your 90 day diary. Seeing the figures written out will also keep you motivated on your mission.

When weighing yourself it’s important to place your scale in the same room (most likely the bathroom) and in the same position on the floor each time you weigh yourself. This will give you the highest accuracy for recording your weight. Make sure to use the scale on hard floorings such as wood or tiles as this provides a stable ground for the pressure points of the scale. You should never weigh yourself on the carpet; if the scale is able to record a reading it most certainly will not be accurate.

Digital scales are a fantastic piece of technology but they will need to be re calibrated now and again. Moving and storing your scales can easily set the sensors off after a period of time and this could impact your readings. To re calibrate your scales you should refer to your user manual however, most scales will reset once the batteries have been removed. Check your settings after reinstalling your batteries to make sure they still exist and then hop on the scale again to confirm they are set up correctly.

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Should You Weigh Yourself Daily?

A question I hear quite often is should you weigh yourself daily and the answer is it entirely depends.

If you find that you are becoming obsessed with the scale or indeed depressed by the number on the scale then you probably should weigh yourself less frequently. Once again I will reiterate that the number on the scale doesn’t always tell the whole story.

However, if you are interested in how your weight fluctuates, weighing yourself daily can be an interesting experiment.

Why It Can Be Good To Weigh Yourself Daily

Weighing yourself daily can help you to keep a keen eye on your weight and allow you to familiarise yourself with any fluctuations. It’s not uncommon for your weight to go up or down on a daily basis. Weight fluctuations can be a result of a number of factors such as your hormones, fluid retention or even constipation.

As mentioned before it’s a good idea to keep a record of your weight. This can help you to analyse the results over time and if the numbers are consistently up over a period of days or weeks then it’s likely that is your accurate weight.

However, if an upward trend in your weight is caught early enough it will be a lot easier to put corrective measures in place such as adjusting your calorie intake and exercise routine.

Why It Can Be Bad To Weigh Yourself Daily

Obsessively weighing yourself daily can be soul destroying. Especially if you find hopping on the scale to be anxiety inducing. It can impact your outlook, body image and your self esteem.

As I’ve mentioned your weight can fluctuate day to day. Some may interpret a small weight gain of 1 pound as gaining a pound of fat when in fact it’s likely water weight.

Paying too much attention to the scale can be misleading and ultimately depressing. If you take the numbers on the scale too seriously any slight gain could result in drastic and unhealthy habits to get a better result, such as skipping meals. Alternatively, you might give up on your goals altogether and resort to binge comfort eating.

Why It Can Be Misleading To Weigh Yourself Daily

As I touched on above, sometimes the scale can be misleading. If you’re seeing a two-pound loss overnight you may get very excited but it’s highly unlikely that you have lost two pounds of fat in a day. It would be more likely that the two-pound loss is made up of fluid and bowel movements.

To lose one pound of fat each week you’ll need to achieve a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day to hit your target. You can reach a 500 calorie deficit each day by controlling your calorie intake and partaking in a consistent exercise routine.

Should You Weigh Yourself Weekly?

Weighing yourself weekly will still allow you to catch changes in body fat. Again, keep to your weigh in conditions – same time of day, same scale and position in the room etc. to allow for accuracy.

Weighing yourself once a week will remove the daily ups and downs and help you to view your progress in a more linear fashion as your bodily fluids shift and balance out. It can also help you to stay on track with your goals and act as a motivator if you happen to slip off plan at any point.

Should You Weigh Yourself Monthly?

If you’re following a weight loss plan such as The Body Coach 90 Day Plan, it’s likely that you’ll be asked to ditch the scale and only weigh yourself on a monthly basis. Again this can tie into the fluctuations that you may experience on a daily or weekly basis and it allows your body time to adjust to your new regime.

Weighing in monthly will reduce the likelihood of becoming obsessed with the numbers on the scale and will allow you to focus on other benefits of your new plan such as your energy levels and how your clothes fit.

When I undertook the 90 Day Plan I often found that I didn’t see any notable changes until the last week, then I experienced the “whoosh” effect where the weight dropped off. This can be quite common for plans that only include a small calorie deficit and weighing yourself more frequently can lead you to believe that you’re not seeing any progress and could result in you giving up entirely.

When You Should Stop Weighing Yourself

It is perfectly OK to ditch the scale completely and stop weighing yourself.

Does the scale make you feel any happier or healthier about yourself? If the answer is no then get rid of it!

Does the very presence of the scale give you anxiety or trigger a succession of negative thoughts? Ditch it.

The scale isn’t for everyone and there is a reason that it is called the “sad step”.

Weight loss and maintenance are long term processes that require hard work day in, day out. If you cannot accept that you are much more than just a number on a back-lit screen then it is time to say goodbye to that bad boy. There are other ways to measure your success that I touched on earlier in the article.

Namely taking your measurements, paying attention to your energy levels and noticing how your clothes fit. By relying on other signs of your progress you may be able to ditch the scales completely and become more intune with your body.

Instead of letting the scale determine your health, try to focus on eating a nutrient rich healthy diet, taking in enough exercise, getting a good night’s sleep every night and controlling your stress levels.

5 tips for weighing yourself (1)
should you weigh yourself daily_ (1)
how often should you weigh yourself on a diet?

Where Can You Weigh Yourself For Free?

If you don’t want to weigh yourself at home, or would prefer to weigh yourself with some assistance, many pharmacies, gyms and health centres will have a set of scales that you can use to measure your weight.

What Are The Best Conditions For Weighing Yourself?

Weigh yourself at the same time of day
Weigh yourself without wearing any clothes
Keep a record of your weight (and any other measurements) to track your progressIn an app
On your phone
In your 90 day diary
Use the same scale in the same room in the same position to ensure maximum accuracy
Recalibrate your scale often

Should You Weigh Yourself Daily?

If you find that you are becoming obsessed with the scale or indeed depressed by the number on the scale then you probably should weigh yourself less frequently

Why It Can Be Good To Weigh Yourself Daily

Weighing yourself daily can help you to keep a keen eye on your weight and allow you to familiarise yourself with any fluctuations. 

Why It Can Be Bad To Weigh Yourself Daily

Obsessively weighing yourself daily can be soul destroying. Especially if you find hopping on the scale to be anxiety inducing. It can impact your outlook, body image and your self esteem.

Why It Can Be Misleading To Weigh Yourself Daily

Sometimes the scale can be misleading. If you’re seeing a two-pound loss overnight you may get very excited but it’s highly unlikely that you have lost two pounds of fat in a day. It would be more likely that the two-pound loss is made up of fluid and bowel movements.

Should You Weigh Yourself Weekly?

Weighing yourself once a week will remove the daily ups and downs and help you to view your progress in a more linear fashion as your bodily fluids shift and balance out. It can also help you to stay on track with your goals and act as a motivator if you happen to slip off plan at any point.

Should You Weigh Yourself Monthly?

Weighing in monthly will reduce the likelihood of becoming obsessed with the numbers on the scale and will allow you to focus on other benefits of your new plan such as your energy levels and how your clothes fit.

When You Should Stop Weighing Yourself

It is perfectly OK to ditch the scale completely and stop weighing yourself.
Does the scale make you feel any happier or healthier about yourself? If the answer is no then get rid of it!
Does the very presence of the scale give you anxiety or trigger a succession of negative thoughts? Ditch it.
The scale isn’t for everyone and there is a reason that it is called the “sad step”.

17 thoughts on “How Often Should You Weigh Yourself?”

  1. Krysten Quiles

    Right now I’m working on weight loss. I weight myself weekly, to check in on my stats, but only record monthly.

  2. It’s been a while since I last weighed myself, I always say it’s because I know me, my body, I work out regularly, etc. and the scale tends to fluctuate from time to time anyway as life happens. Sometimes I look at it out of curiosity but most of the time I’ve not been phased by the number on the scale now like it used to..

  3. Kat @The Hobbit Hold

    I was weighing myself daily in the past few weeks. The day I noticed I’ve lost one kg. I decided it’s time to celebrate this small victory, lol! Now I am not sure I should weigh myself that often anymore.

  4. Alyssa Hixenbaugh

    I honestly haven’t weighed myself in years. I feel it’s healthier for to exercise, eat a balanced diet, and go off how my clothing fits. It can easily become an obsessive thing, and for some people it’s better to not.

  5. A Big Girl in a Big City

    There are definitely some pros and cons on weighing yourself daily. My view is it’s good to do so when you’re still learning about how your body works during a weight loss journey. Once I’ll reach my goal I will probably reduce it to once a week only but it will be useful to keep doing it until I know I can naturally maintain my weight without the help of a scale 🙂
    It’s all a learning curve, as you say it’s all good as long as you’re not obsessing on it too much. After all, your weight by itself doesn’t tell the whole story x

  6. Kristin Brause

    I love weighing myself daily. Because you never put on weight overnight, the same way you don’t lose weight overnight. Weight gain or loss is the result of your habits of that last couple of days. And I find it helps me understand exactly what caused it. I talk about this on my blog a lot too, happy I found a daily weigh-in pro 🙂 Kris

  7. thanks for the tips! I usually weigh myself before my blood donation because I have to maintain a certain limit, I cant go lower than the required and Im so active burning calories. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Hey, great article. I know a lot of people are really conscious about weighing themselves and insight like this really helps

  9. Good article. I suffered from an eating disorser for many years and I had to stop weighting myself. Scale was my enemy for so long. Now I have been very well for two years (I don’t think I can ever say cured 100%) and I can do it again. But I still have to limit it for one time in week or less. I think it’s good to realize that if Scale creates anxiety you should get rid of it and focus on your health.

  10. I only weigh myself every week to two weeks. Daily is too much for me… When I am trying to lose, the needle doesn’t move much on a day to day basis and that can be discouraging. When I am just maintaining my weight, then every two weeks is plenty, just to ensure the number isn’t going up. If I see it creeping up, I know it is time to re-evaluate my healthy habits.

  11. I’ve previously experienced some ups & downs with my weight. I’ve gotten back to a weight I’m comfortable with. I haven’t weighed myself in some years but i love the break down that you gave on weighing your self. I especially liked that you discussed the bad aspects of weighing yourself.

  12. These are good tips. I’m a daily weigher, but as you mentioned, I tend to get too excited when I see a big drop overnight.

  13. Headphonesthoughts

    I don’t really like weighing myself but when I do I see that I haven’t really gained or lost weight. Awesome tips about weighing yourself. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Antoinette Bryant

    I’m guilty of weighing myself twice a day…this post was very helpful in showing me good tips.

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