Question: How often should I weigh myself

Question and AnswerQuestion and Answer

The facts about self weigh-ins.

One of the most common questions I receive is how often should you weigh yourself. This is not a simple question and there is no right answer. I have been a physician for a long time and many health care professionals and fitness experts try to make it more simple than it actually is.

Help: My weight is out of Control
Help: My weight is out of Control

The fact is that people who succeed at losing weight often weight their self regularly. A simple step on the scale at least once a week seems to build awareness and confidence and build success. This being said, don’t focus too much on the number on the scale. If the number on the scale goes up and down, it is not the end of the world and may not even equate to success or failure. All it is a change and it may only be water loss or gain and not fat loss or gain.

Weight can change by several pounds over the course of a few days as water weight shifts into the cells. It is not the water that we are concerned about. It is fat pure and simple. Unfortunately, most scales do not determine the difference in the weight of water and fat so weight gain is weight gain even if weight is from water. Fortunately, the risk of water weight is less than that of fat in most disease processes.

Glass of water

Water also helps you stay hydrated and can promote weight loss. We are mostly water so hydration is essential for satiety and successful weight loss. Drinking water helps you fill your belly and reduces caloric intake. It is especially helpful before meals because it will help you fill your stomach and promote satiety. If water makes you feel full and helps you eat less, it should assist with weight loss or lead to less weight gained.

So how often should you weigh yourself? In normal-weight individuals, daily weighing resulted in a slight weight loss. Unfortunately, less frequent weight-ins often leads to less success. However, this effect may be the same in those that are overweight so the weigh-in plan should be individualized.

The bottom line: Daily weigh-ins may help with weight loss. Daily self-weighing is a method of accountability and may motivate people to stick to their diet. Daily weights can help you lose more weight and gain less back. Daily self-weighing helps you maintain self-awareness of your weight. Monitoring weight loss progress further motivates you to keep going and improves your self-control. I would highly recommend daily accountability of your success and failures.

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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