How often should you weigh yourself?

How often should you weigh yourself?

How often should you weigh yourself?

Wondering how often should you weigh yourself? Continue reading and find out.

The Found Team
Last updated:
September 23, 2021
5 min read
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When you embark on a weight loss journey and set weight loss goals, you want them to succeed. After all, a lot of energy and dedication goes into changing your lifestyle and shedding excess pounds!

Stepping on the scale is one good way to keep track of your progress, but there are pros and cons.

Today, we’ll explain:

  • How often to consider weighing yourself
  • Pros and cons of regular weigh-ins
  • Tips for when to step on the scale
  • Other measurements you can use to gauge weight loss

A frequent question in the weight-loss journey is, “how often should you weigh yourself?” Let’s see what science has to say about weigh-ins.

What does science say about weighing yourself?

Researchers have studied weight loss strategies to identify which patterns offer greater weight loss and sustained care over time. Interestingly, people who step on the scale more frequently are more likely to lose weight and keep it off long term.

The reason is that regular weigh-ins promote other weight loss behaviors. Accountability is a big one. When you keep track of your weight on a daily basis, you can exercise more agency over your weight care journey.

At Found, we recommend stepping on the scale once a week. (Shout out to Weigh-In Wednesdays!) The reason is that weight can fluctuate from day to day. You might eat more on the weekend, for example, and less M-F. Picking one day to weigh in during a weekday can give you a more realistic picture of your ups and downs.

However, this practice often comes down to preference: Some find it helpful, and some find it discouraging. Some want digital feedback more often, and some don’t want it at all. At Found, we know that each person is different, and what works for you might not work for others.

Let’s examine some of the pros and cons of regular weigh-ins.

What are the pros of regularly weighing yourself?

First, regular weigh-in are proven to be an effective tool for sustained weight loss. According to the National Weight Control Registry—which tracks more than 10,000 people who have lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off long term—75% of those who were able to meet and maintain their weight care goals stepped on the scale at least once a week.

a A few of the benefits include:

  • A quicker course correct If you notice that your weight is increasing, or you’ve stopped losing weight, regular weigh-ins will allow you to notice it so you can make adjustments before a small amount of weight becomes more significant. We’re not talking about tiny fluctuations from day to day. This is more about a continual trend.
  • Measurable progress We’re all motivated by results. When we put a lot of effort into something, we want to know it’s working. Witnessing daily progress is a strong indicator that your action plan is effective. Additionally, it’s inspiring!
  • A window into your overall health The scale can also help you detect health issues that can prevent weight loss. For example, if you’re doing everything in your power to lose weight—yet experiencing little to no results—it may be a sign of another issue, like a thyroid problem. Conversely, a rapid weight loss without any behavior changes may also indicate an underlying issue.
  • Healthier lifestyle habits When regular check-ins become part of your routine, so too can eating well, exercising, and being more mindful of stress.

What are the cons of stepping on the scale?

When considering how often you should weigh yourself, you may find that frequent check-ins are not productive for you. Instead, it may trigger issues with physical and mental health, including but not limited to:

  • Frustration with the journey If you don’t see progress, it’s easy to become discouraged and lose faith in the process. And for some people, stepping on the scale can exacerbate those negative feelings.  
  • Misunderstanding of plateaus and fluctuations Everyone’s weight fluctuates daily. Your hydration levels, food intake, and metabolism can all change your weight by one or more pounds. If you weigh yourself too often, you might confuse normal fluctuation with weight gain, derailing your resolve to achieve weight loss success.
  • Poor mental health It’s human nature to compare yourself to others. The usual fluctuations and plateaus you experience can foster frustration when you’re trying to lose weight. Comparing your weight loss journey to others can negatively impact your mood and body image.

At Found, we do not set hard-and-fast requirements around regular weigh-ins—or calorie counting, for that matter. Instead, we encourage you to determine the right weigh-in frequency for you.

Other tips for weighing yourself

Ultimately, you’re the only one who can decide whether a consistent weight-check routine works or doesn’t. Your health journey should be perfectly tailored to you because every person is unique. With that being said, we’ve compiled a few regular weigh-in tips below. Should you adopt this practice, these tips can help you sharpen your process.  

BEST TIME OF DAY

The most opportune time to weigh yourself is during a slot that allows you to be consistent. If that’s the afternoon, fantastic. If that’s at night, perfect. That said, weighing yourself first thing in the morning might provide the most accurate reading. This is because your body weight fluctuates throughout the day as you eat, drink, and exercise.

PUT IT ON THE CALENDAR

If you’re not a fan of weekly weigh-ins, try opting for monthly ones instead. If you do weekly weigh-ins, set a reminder in your calendar, so you don’t forget. The goal is to weigh yourself on the same day every week. This allows you to account for weight fluctuations due to changes in your eating patterns or water weight.

DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP

Losing body weight is a long, challenging, but rewarding journey. No two people are the same. So if you’re not dropping the weight you wanted to, don’t feel discouraged. You’ll find a routine and balance that works specifically for you with careful tweaking, adjustments, and observation.

If a workout routine or diet doesn’t yield results, don’t consider it a failure. Now you’re another step closer to finding the right one.

Other ways to measure your wins

If you don’t enjoy daily weigh-ins, you can track your weight loss progress in plenty of other ways without obsessing over the number on the scale. Some of these include:

  • How your clothing fits  One of the most sure-fire ways to identify healthy weight loss is by observing how your clothing fits. If you notice your jeans are looser around the waist and thighs and your shirts aren’t as snug, that’s an indicator of success!
  • Your energy levels Losing weight should be one component that fits into your holistic well-being and overall health strategy. It’s not just about the numbers on the scale; it’s how you feel. If your weight loss plan results in healthier habits and higher energy levels, you’re doing something right. This is also true for your mood stability and sleep patterns.
  • Body measurements Similar to the fit of your clothing, you can keep track of weight loss by taking your body measurements. Lost inches around your waist, hips, thighs, and more can indicate success just as a scale can. You can also monitor your body fat percentage with the help of your health care provider. This is a great method for those incorporating a strength training program, as increased muscle mass can slow weight loss, but the results will show in your measurements. (Muscle is more compact than fat.)

Find your own path to successful weight care

So, how often should you weigh yourself? That depends on your preferences and goals. It might be daily, weekly or, well, never.

If there’s one theme in a successful weight care journey, it’s consistency. If your first process doesn’t yield results, adjust. If it doesn’t stick, try to figure out why. If you’re losing weight at the speed you want, templatize and commit to the routine.

No matter what you do, you have to keep working at it! However, here at Found, we understand that the weight-loss journey sometimes feels impossible. That’s why our experts have developed a weight loss program that accounts for biology, leverages modern science, and embraces the power of a supportive community.

If you’re struggling to lose weight—or want to keep what you’ve lost off—take our quiz today to see if we can help.

Odds are, we can.

About Found

Found is among the largest medically-supported weight care clinics in the country, serving more than 200,000 members to date. To start your journey with Found, take our quiz.

Published date:
September 23, 2021
Meet the author
The Found Team
The Found Team

Sources

  • National Institute of Health. Weighing Everyday Matters: Daily Weighing Improves Weight Loss and Adoption of Weight Control Behaviors. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4380831/
  • PubMed. Patterns of Self-Weighing Behavior and Weight Change in a Weight Loss Trial. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27113642/
  • American Heart Association. Temporal Patterns of Self-Weighing Behavior and Weight Loss in the Health eHeart Study. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/circ.138.suppl_1.10962
  • PubMed. The Problem with Weighing: Effects on Mood, Self-Esteem, and Body Image. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8653150/
  • Healthline. How Often Should I Weigh Myself? https://www.healthline.com/health/diet-and-weight-loss/how-often-should-i-weigh-myself#best-time
  • The Cleveland Clinic. When is the Best Time to Weigh Yourself? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/when-is-the-best-time-to-weigh-yourself/
  • American Health Association. The Pros and Cons of Weighing Yourself Every Day. https://www.heart.org/en/news/2019/01/02/the-pros-and-cons-of-weighing-yourself-every-day
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