How often should you weigh yourself?

How often should you weigh yourself?

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Whether you’re trying to lose weight, keep it off, or prevent it from arriving in the first place, it’s only natural to want to check on your progress and to know if your new lifestyle routine is working- and by how much. But just how often should you weigh yourself?

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, keep it off, or prevent it from arriving in the first place, it’s only natural to want to check on your progress and to know if your new lifestyle routine is working- and by how much. But just how often should you weigh yourself?

From my experience as a personal trainer and weight loss coach, I think a realistic rate of weight loss is approximately ½ a kilogram a week. But you are going to need pretty accurate scales to pick that up. In addition, total body weight is not always an accurate measure of fat loss (or fat gain). It is virtually useless as a measure of success if you only have a few kilograms to lose (because of variations in fluid levels).

But as much as I can try to convince people that other measures are more reliable, you are probably still going to hop on the scales to find out your weight. It’s almost like a food craving that’s just too hard to resist. So here are some guidelines on how often to weigh yourself, and what you can do to increase the accuracy of your measurements.

  • Don’t weight yourself every day – Limit it to once a week, or preferably, once a month. Learn to focus on the process of lifestyle change, not on the results of it. The scales don’t measure your fitness or behaviour.
  • Get naked – Eliminate variables such as the weight of clothes, shoes or a towel contributing to your weight measurements.
  • Weigh yourself early – Weigh yourself first thing in the morning just after going to the toilet to eliminate the variables of food and liquid contributing to your weight measurements.
  • Weigh yourself at the same time of the month (women only) – Fluid levels in a menstruating woman may cause body weight to fluctuate by 2-3 kilograms. Weigh yourself at the same stage of your cycle each month for maximum accuracy.
  • Have another measure – When you consider all the variables, it’s clear that the bathroom scales are not very reliable. Don’t use them as your only measure of success (or of your self-esteem). Try to also monitor your progress in other ways, such as girth measurements or how your clothes fit.

How often do you weigh yourself? What other measures of “fat loss” do you use to monitor success?

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Thanks for your comments Lee. Please note in the blog that I did mentioned to still weigh yourself on a monthly basis. If you want to measure yourself more regularly, I would encourage you to use a tape measure around your waist, because this is far more accurate.

Casilda, I also appreciate your feedback. If you feel that someones lifestyle makes it possible to gain 2 - 3 kilograms a month, then yes, I would agree that more regular weigh ins (maybe weekly) would be beneficial. However, I would also suggest that a greater focus on changing certain lifestyle behaviours to prevent this level of weight gain is just as important

Anonymous
Anonymous 31 Dec 2012
Don't agree with this at all particularly if you want to maintain your weight level. If you weight daily you can see if you have gained any weight and quickly address this. Wait a month and you have have gained 2 or 3 kgs without knowing it.
Anonymous
Anonymous 19 Dec 2012
I used to weigh myself every morning until someone said that was excessive so I stopped and over time I stopped all together, but by not doing it the weight slowly crept up without me realising and I now weigh 5 kilos more. Call it excessive but I am going back to daily weigh ins.
Anonymous
Anonymous 19 Dec 2012