Before you can decide how often you should weigh yourself, there are a few things you need to know:
- Why your weight is an important and useful measure of progress.
- Why your weight is deceptive and fails to tell the whole story.
Why Weighing Yourself is Important
First off, it shows if things are working. Both fat and muscle weigh something, which means losing fat will typically result in a decrease in your overall body weight and building muscle will generally increase your overall body weight. Here’s why that’s important.
- Keeping track of your weight will let you know if you’re moving in the right direction for your goal or if your current diet or workout regimen isn’t working and needs to be adjusted.
- Weighing yourself regularly will also ensure that your body weight is changing at the speed it should be – not too fast and not too slow!
Why Weighing Yourself is a Problem
The first major problem with “weight” is that it accounts for more than just fat and muscle.
If you could always be assured the weight you’re losing is either fat or muscle, weighing yourself wouldn’t be an issue. Unfortunately, your body weight changes due to the loss or gain of:
- Feces (yuck!)
- Food consumption and more…
Daily fluctuations in your body weight should be expected and are extremely normal for everyone, which brings us to three problems of weighing yourself:
- The number on the scale really tells us nothing about the anatomy of that weight.
- There are unrelated fluctuations in your weight that skew the progress or lack of progress you’re making.
- For many of us, the normal daily fluctuations in your weight can drive you crazy!!!
These are the reasons why most people should only weigh themselves to monitor progress, and keep in mind that a better measure of your progress might be actual measurements of body fat percentage, pictures of yourself and so on.
How Often Should You Weigh Yourself?
Although many people suggest that weighing yourself everyday is the most inaccurate way to track your weight, it can (surprisingly) be the most accurate as long as:
- You aren’t making day-to-day decisions based on the daily number on the scale.
- You weigh yourself everyday and use your average weight from the week to calculate your progress and make discussions based on that number alone.
Here’s How and When you Should Weigh Yourself!
The best time to weigh yourself is first thing in the morning. Before eating breakfast and before your morning coffee. Wear as little clothing as possible, if any at all, otherwise be sure to wear the same amount of clothing every time you weigh yourself.
You will need to track your daily weigh-ins (there are several apps for this purpose!) and add them all together and divide by seven. Easy!
However, if you’re the type of person who will turn it into an unhealthy obsession and respond negatively to the daily fluctuations in your weight, you should probably avoid this option altogether.
Amazingly, it’s not unusual to see as much as a 5lb. to 10lb. flip-flop in your weight throughout the day which is why weighing yourself sporatically is pretty useless and harmful to your ego, but stay positive and keep at it and you’ll eventually achieve your goals!