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Should I Weigh Myself Every Day?

Should I Weigh Myself Every DayMost people who want to lose weight sooner or later ask themselves, “Should I weigh myself every day?” It’s an important question, but many seem divided about the answer.

Even though some health experts argue that you should not weigh yourself too often because it’s a bad idea to get overly focused on the scale, other studies reveal that you’ll lose more weight and keep it off longer if you weigh yourself every day.

Should I Weigh Myself Every Day?

Many people who have lost weight and kept it off report that they weigh themselves at least once a week. The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), an organization established in 1994 that tracks people who have lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off over a long period of time, reports that 75 percent of successful dieters weigh themselves at least once a week.

Other successful dieters say they check the scale each day. According to a December 2006 Nutrition Action Health Letter article “The Weighing Game,” people who want to keep the pounds from returning should check in with their scale daily. In an eighteen month study, only 26 percent of the participants who weighed themselves each day regained five pounds compared to 58 percent of those who did not weigh themselves every day.

In another research study, Natalie Gingerich in “Make Friends with Your Scale” published in Prevention says, people who weighed themselves daily lost twice as many pounds than those who weighed themselves weekly.

Perhaps making the scale your friend can be the best way to lose weight.

Scale Obsession

No one can blame people for wanting to weigh themselves often. The scale can be an excellent tool. People want to make sure all their hard work and all their efforts are paying off, and the bathroom scale has become the barometer to assess the success of weight loss or weight maintenance. It can also be helpful for people who want to lose the last ten pounds. Many say those are the hardest to lose. The scale is always there, so it helps people focus on their goals. It’s convenient and gives an instantaneous weight report.

Sometimes, however, people tend to get a little too compulsive about the scale, and women tend to be more likely than men to be obsessed with the it. They become a slave to the scale. They fear the scale but weigh themselves incessantly. They panic if the scale tells them they’ve moved up a pound or more. In this case using the scale too much can be misleading and counterproductive.

Don’t Let the Scale Consume You

Lots of dieters believe the scale represents a measurement of how they should feel about themselves. Instead of being just a measurement of pounds, it acts as a measuring stick for self-esteem. If the scale falls on that magical number, then all is wonderful in the world. If, however, the number climbs too high, the day becomes fraught with depression and self-bashing.

The scale can be a deceiving little devil. It doesn’t account for body fat percentage and water weight. It doesn’t know if you’ve gained muscle and lost some fat from working out, so thus it can give you a false impression, especially if you’re weighing yourself as often as you pass by the bathroom door.

If you’re the type of person who weighs yourself too often throughout the day, consider checking in with scale just once a week on a specific day; research shows it will still be beneficial. If you want to take the plunge and weigh yourself every day, keep in mind you’ll probably see normal day-to-day fluctuations in your weight that may move the numbers on the scale upward by a few pounds.

Weight loss tips for weighing in every day:

  • Check the scale the first thing in the morning or at the same time each day.
  • Undress or wear the same clothing each time you weigh yourself.
  • Place the scale on the same spot on the floor each day.
  • Document your weight, preferably on a graph.

Don’t be disappointed if the number of pounds fluctuate a little from one day to the next or even over a few days; they probably will. People can gain and lose as many as up to five pounds a day. The most important thing to notice is a trend over time.

“Should I weigh myself every day?”

In most cases the answer is yes to improve the odds of losing or maintaining weight and keeping it off permanently.

References:

Gingerich, Natalie. “Make Friends with Your Scale.” Prevention.

“The Weighing Game.” Nutrition Action Health Letter. December 2006, Vol. 33 Issue 10, p10-10.

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