How often should you weigh yourself?

FRUSTRATION!

So you’re doing everything you can to change your weight..

Eating clean, training hard, avoiding the peer pressure nights out and bingey weekends and weighing in 1, 2, or even 5 times per week and….

Frustration: the little needle goes up, down or stays still every time!

Its enough to make anyone either run to the fridge, throw in the towel and eat everything in sight or drastically crash diet to get things moving more quickly.

BUT before you do anything drastic, let me tell you a few things..

Weight fluctuations

Daily and even hourly weight fluctuations are common and completely normal because your weight is determined by many different factors;

  • WATER – how hydrated you are. 1 litre of water is 1kg of weight on the scales
  • FOOD – what you recently ate. That food also weighs something.
  • STOOL – how frequently you visit the toilet. If you’re constipated it’s going to add weight to the scales.
  • SWEAT – the climate, time of year and your workout routine all have an impact on how much water you lose through sweat. So to does the time of day. You can wake up dehydrated have litre of water then weigh and you’re 1kg heavier

So you see a few pounds of scale weight fluctuating here or there are usually NOT a result of fat gain but a few different factors and behaviours alongside your body doing exactly what it needs to do to regulate homeostasis. eg. Sweat when you’re hot, go to the toilet when your bladders full.

So how often should you weigh yourself?

First ask yourself these question,

“Will weighing myself (daily, weekly, periodically, etc.) help or harm my motivation?”

“Will weighing myself today give me the realistic information I need to make a logical decision?”

Deciding what is HELPFUL and MOTIVATING to keep you on the right track is essential but lets consider some different scenarios.

Daily weigh-ins

Weighing in daily can give you a great sense of accountability and is helpful for checking progress and ensuring you are on the right track. If you’re able to look at the overall trend and not stress about the fluctuations, then by all means, weigh yourself daily.

Simply jump on the scales first thing in the morning & make a note of the weight and assess your results at a later date.

Will it help or harm motivation? Standing their stressing over a tiny increase, decrease or no change may not be worth your time if by the end of the week you are 2lbs lighter.

Does a 0.3 pounds of weight gain put you in a bad mood? Or, are you absolutely delighted to see that you’re down 1 pound? If the daily weigh-ins powerfully affect your mood and behaviour, then you might want to reconsider how often you weigh yourself. The number on the scale should not have the power to dictate your mood, it’s just a number. It’s the bigger picture and how you look and feel that counts.

Is it helpful? Unfortunately weighing daily isn’t going to give you enough feedback to make any changes to your regime. Its to soon to see if what you did yesterday effected today. However a week later, all those consecutive days may have had a difference you can really celebrate.

Weekly weigh-ins

Weighing weekly has it’s advantages.

Is it helpful? With the knowledge that weight loss of around 2lbs per week is ideal (muscle gain will vary from person to person but should be consistent), it allows you to track progress while still having six days to not focus on your weight.

  • If you see a positive weekly trend then you know you’re on the right track.
  • If it’s a negative weekly trend and not moving the way you want it to you will know if you need to eat more or less. Or exercise more or less.
  • If it’s all over the place, up and down every week you may need to try to establish some form of consistency with you eating and exercise
  • If it goes up one week but down another then down again the trend is overall fat loss so don’t stress over the smaller details.

For consistent results, pick the same day each week, and weigh yourself in the morning after you’ve been to the toilet. Remember to look for trends. It’s important to realise that it will take a few weigh-ins to get a picture of where the trend is heading.

Will it help or harm my motivation? This can be a brilliant tool to help you adjust your diet or training without making you ride the emotional roller coaster of daily weigh-ins

Occasional weigh-ins

You may go for the occasional random weight check on the gym scales.

Will it help or harm my motivation & is it helpful? Individuals who opt for this occasional weigh-in may not have very clearly defined goals or nothing to actually compare their weight against, (like a previous weigh in), or often have other ways of identifying weight changes, like the way they fit in their clothes or how they look in the mirror.

I would always chose a regular weigh in over an occasional one or there’s not much point…

Never weighing

There are quite a few people who don’t own a set of bathroom scales.

Will it help or harm my motivation & is it helpful? If your goal is to lose weight or fat then weighing yourself is something you will need to do fairly frequently to check you’re on the right track & keep you motivated by seeing the results of your training & nutrition.

You can of course simply go on how you look and feel in your clothes but when you hit a plateau or are unsure if your getting any results at all, the bathroom scales will become a useful tool.

Don’t be obsessive

The frequency of which you should weigh yourself also comes down to your personality type.

If you are weighing yourself a few times per day, STOP RIGHT NOW! Obsessing over a number on the scale can make you miserable, demotivated and lead to a bad relationship with food and exercise or even eating disorders.

Weighing yourself should simply be a frequent data gathering tool to help you make decisions to achieve your goals and is not the be all and end all of getting into great shape

It can also be used to keep you accountable. For example if you know youre weighing in twice a week, one of which on a Sunday morning, it will stop you going off track at the weekends.

The real numbers

As I’ve already said, because your weight fluctuates day to day, scale weight isn’t the best indicator of what’s going on.

If you have specific goals and need to make specific tweaks to your training or diet you should use a combination of measuring methods.

The best indicator of changes is body fat percentage but I would still use a range of measuring methods which work best for you, your goals and your current condition, (measuring tape, progress photos, body fat percentage and scale weight).

Using a combination of methods will give you a more specific look at what’s going on with your results. For example if your waist measurement has gone up but your body fat percentage has gone down you may be suffering from slight dehydration or bloating.

Each of us has different ways of becoming motivated and being positive about our goals. Find what works for you and keep it consistent.

So how often?

When I’m coaching clients I like them to weigh in 1 or 2 times per week.

This will keep them accountable and is a nice time frame to see changes which will keep them motivated and if changes don’t happen we can make changes quickly to get the ball rolling again

 

ARE YOU STRUGGLING TO LOSE WEIGHT?

If you’re jumping on the scales frequently and they’re not moving in the right direction fast enough lets have a quick chat and get the ball rolling again ⤵

GET HELP

 

 

Matt Knight is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.