The beginning of the year is synonymous with weight loss, or health general health resolutions. There are many ways to attack your weight loss goals, but the most successful ones involve a combination of mindful eating and exercise. Naturally, you want to see results quickly and be proud of what you accomplish, so you step on the scale. While weighing yourself daily is one way to track progress, it may not be conducive to your goals.
Many fitness experts and dietitians have firm stances about stepping on the scale. Some people feel that weighing yourself every day is the only way to stay on top of your plan and keep moving forward. Others believe that one weekly weigh-in is more helpful to your fitness goal. The answer may not be as cut and dry as you think, though. You don’t want to become obsessed with stepping on the scale, but you don’t want to avoid it either. We discuss how often you should weigh yourself below.
How Often Should You Weigh Yourself?
Some people want to lose weight and others want to simply maintain their current weight. There is no specific rule; rather, it’s more about what tactic works for you. As a general rule, it’s best to weigh yourself one to two times per week. For the most accurate results, weigh yourself in the morning before you eat breakfast. The reason for this is because weight can fluctuate from morning until nighttime, depending on what you eat or if you exercise.
Some people prefer to get on the scale every day, which is acceptable for certain, motivated people. Other people who feel self-conscious about their weight, and are not aware of day-to-day weight fluctuations, may not benefit from everyday weigh-ins. In fact, it may do them more harm than good.
Pros of Weighing Yourself Daily
If you go in for a physical or general check up, you step on the scale so the doctor can note your weight. If you only see your doctor once or twice a year, your current weight may not be what you think it is. Although your weight is just a number, it can be an indicator of overall health.
Keeps You Accountable
Regular weigh-ins can help with accountability, especially if you are participating in a weight loss program. Daily weight monitoring can keep you on the right path, and it helps you track your progress or patterns. Not only do daily weigh-ins create awareness, but they also help you recognize if you hit a plateau. When this happens, you know that you have to change up your strategy.
It’s very exciting to see the pounds fall off from one day to the next. Daily weigh-ins may validate the fact that your hard work is paying off. In this sense, stepping on the scale every day can be a motivational tool. The number on the scale is an inspiration to make healthy choices for the rest of the day.
Cons Of Weighing Yourself Daily
You may not want to weigh yourself every day, or as often, because it’s not a tool that aids your progress. Many people find that daily weigh-ins have a negative impact on mental health, and may even encourage eating disorders or depression.
It May Be Misleading
The scale may say one number in the morning and a different number several hours later. What’s the deal with that, right? Well, weight naturally fluctuates over the course of the day. Fluid intake, salt intake, or hormonal changes can all influence the number on the scale. Some people can vary up to five pounds per day, which is why stepping on the scale daily may not be the right decision for your body. The scale also doesn’t distinguish between fat and muscle, which you may gain if you work out regularly.
It May Ignite Unhealthy Behaviors
If you don’t see the pounds drop from one day to the next, your mental health may suffer. It’s very easy to obsess about weight, which is harmful if you have a history of eating disorders. If you are unhappy with the number on the scale, it may ruin your mood for the rest of the day. In this situation, daily weigh-ins are not conducive to mental health. Weighing in every day may also create stress, which be a detriment to your diet and energy levels.