How Often Should You Weigh?
One of the biggest challenges regarding the scale is how often to weigh yourself. When it comes to the scale, we have to remember that it is JUST a tool! For this reason, we only need to use it as much as it helps us.
For some people, that might mean daily measurements. However, monthly weigh-ins may be more appropriate for others. We’ll walk you through our thought process behind the scale and how often you should weigh yourself!
Before we get there, there are a couple of things that you need to know when it comes to weighing yourself. These tips will make sure that you make the most out of your weigh-ins.
First, you need to weigh yourself at the same time of day. Regardless of how often you weigh yourself, doing it at the same time will reduce your chances of getting a bad reading.
That’s because weight fluctuations due to different measurement times have nothing to do with fat loss or fat gain.
Most of these weight fluctuations occur on account of changes in body water, glycogen in your muscles, blood volume, weight of digested food, etc.
So if you weighed yourself once before breakfast on one day, and then after breakfast on another day, chances are the number on the scale won’t be very accurate.
Secondly, you need to use the same scale. With any measurement tool, there are always margins of error. The important thing is that these errors are accounted for.
Using the same scale will do the trick. When it comes to weighing yourself, it’s the changes that matter. So even though there is error built into the scale, as long as it’s the same error every time, then you’re good!
Now that we’ve covered the basic ground rules let’s get into it!
For those of you who want as much info as possible, weighing yourself daily can be a great option! This method will definitely give you the most accurate picture of where your weight is. With so many measurements in a given time frame, you can detect lots of changes.
While this can be a great thing if you want maximum info, it can be harder to tell which weight measurements are indicative of changes in body fat and muscle mass.
That’s because you’re more likely to pick up those weight fluctuations that we talked about before. For this reason, a 3 pound increase from yesterday’s weight is not very reliable.
Frequent measurements have a high likelihood of picking up “white noise”, or changes that don’t reflect progress or regression.
So if you decide to weigh yourself daily, be aware of the fact that changes between each daily weight are not that important. However, it will allow you to see where you’re headed over the long term.
This strategy will probably work best if you want to get a handle on your weight. Doing a weigh-in twice weekly will give you a snapshot of changes within a week, and will rule out a lot of random fluctuations that might come with daily weigh-ins.
We also recommend spacing out your weigh-in days. For example, if your first day to check weight is on Monday, then wait until Thursday for your next one. A buffer period of a few days will allow for any weight fluctuations to dissipate by the time you weigh yourself again.
If you decide that weekly measurements work for you, then this is a great option too! The frequency of weigh-ins is enough to track changes over the weeks, and you can definitely make changes to your diet and exercise based off of weekly bodyweight.
A weekly frequency is also enough to rule out a good amount of the weird fluctuations, but not quite as good as biweekly weigh-ins.
One thing about weekly weigh-ins is that you cannot account for bodyweight changes within a week. While it is not essential for everyone to be aware of how your weight changes within a week, it can be useful information.
For those of you who aren’t too concerned about where your weight is, monthly checks can be appropriate. Also, if you already have a good handle on where your weight is based on other indicators like the mirror, waist measurement, or your clothes, then monthly is perfectly fine.
However, if t seems like your weight is a chameleon that you can’t figure out, then you would probably do better weight yourself more often.
One additional thing to know about monthly weights: the majority of weight loss changes WILL be reflected over longer periods of time.
So regardless of which method you choose, it is good to remember that you’ll see most of your dietary changes in play months down the road.
As you can see, how you use the scale is totally up to you! There are some guiding principles that you should be aware of, but after you get a handle on those, decide your weigh-in frequency based on your goals and what works best for you!