Ask the Experts: Should I Weigh Myself Daily or Weekly?

weighing daily or weekly

When starting a new weight loss plan, there are a considerable number of things that need to be included when setting a goal. Measurements should be taken, labs may be recorded, or a physical assessment may be conducted. The bathroom scale is, perhaps, the easiest and most accessible way to record body weight. The real question is, how often should you weigh yourself? Every day? Once a week?

The Factors

There are so many things that make up body weight: fat tissue, muscle, organs, skin, blood, and other fluids – you name it – every part of your being contributes to body weight. So why do we assume that every number-change on the scale is directly associated with fat loss or gain?

And, if I may ask, why do we so often associate every number-change on the scale as being directly associated with our self worth?

Here are the facts:

Some studies have shown that weighing every day can be beneficial to weight loss. People can see, on a day-to-day basis, how their bodies react to their environments. Body weight can fluctuate up to about ten pounds almost daily, depending on how sensitive your body responds to things like sodium, water retention, and even working out.

So – if you’re a subjective, logical thinker – the type of person who sees numbers as numbers, and doesn’t tie emotion to those numbers – this option may work for you.

With that being said, it’s rare that you would start a journey like this without tying emotion into it. And, in my opinion, you should be emotional – this is your life you’re dealing with. For the vast majority of people, weighing once a week is plenty.

You’ll still get to keep tabs on your general progress without agonizing over the daily fluctuations. The scale reports only a fraction of the story, and it should be treated that way.

You are more than just a number

Earlier, I mentioned the scale as a means to measure body weight – not overall health. It’s quite possible to be defined as overweight, and still be healthier than a thinner counterpart. It’s extremely important that we don’t assimilate “thin” with “healthy” (even though thin people can be healthy, too).

Bottom Line: Health comes in all shapes and sizes. So make sure you’re taking into consideration how you feel. Are you more able to perform physical activity? Are you eating a more nutritious assortment of foods? How are your measurements and labs? How do you feel about yourself?

These are the important questions you need to be mindful of. After all, the number on the scale only has as much power as you give it.

What about you?

Do you weigh yourself daily, weekly, or not at all?

Photo credit: Alan Cleaver | Arya Ziai

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Debbie is a professional geek (i.e. works in the Technology department) at Anytime Fitness. She has a bachelors degree in Dietetics, has been NASM certified in personal training, and specializes in weight loss. She is a realist, doesn’t believe in diets, believes strongly in chocolate, and maintaining a healthy balance in life. She’s an avid lover of music, plays guitar, and sings. She also can’t keep plants alive.

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