How Often Should You Weigh Yourself (When Trying To Lose Weight)?

How Often Should You Weigh Yourself (When Trying To Lose Weight)?

Weigh YourselfWe all wish we could start a diet and see a dramatic weight loss the very next day, but that is almost never the case (unless you get liposuction or a debilitating stomach bug).  When you decide to start dieting, exercising, and keeping track of your weight loss, you might wonder how often you should weigh yourself when trying to lose weight.

There are a few schools of thought on this question.  But this article is going to focus on the rule that you should never weight yourself more than once a week, and preferably just once every two weeks.  The following information will tell you why you should only weigh yourself every so often when trying to lose weight and how to do it correctly.

Why Only Once a Week (or Two)?

Weight loss is a gradual process.  A pound of fat equals 3,000 calories, so in order to lose one pound, you need to eliminate an extra 3,000 calories from your body.  If you can eliminate at least an extra 400 calories from your diet each day, at the end of the week, you’ll have eliminated a total of 2,800 calories – – almost a full pound!  By weighing yourself each day, your scale will probably not pick up on such a subtle weight loss and so that is an easy way to get discouraged.

If you wait all week, you will notice a difference in your weight right off the bat.  Think of it this way: if someone gives you a dollar a day for 10 days, it doesn’t seem like that much money, but if you find a $10 bill on the ground, it feels like you’ve won something.  Weighing yourself while trying to lose weight follows the same principal.

How To Weigh Yourself

The best time to weigh yourself is first thing in the morning, after going to the bathroom.  When you first wake up you don’t have to account for a big meal you might have eaten or that bottle of water you just drank, so the results are more accurate.  If you can weigh yourself naked, or at least in underwear, with dry hair (for women), the results will be the best.

When you go to weigh yourself after a week or two, you need to do it in the morning again and under the same conditions.  A person’s body weight can fluctuate anywhere from two to five pounds during the day, so to prevent yourself from getting discouraged, do it in the morning, after going to the bathroom and on an empty stomach.

So, as much as it is tempting to keep hopping on the scale and looking for a positive sign that all the effort to lose pounds is paying off, it is more rewarding to focus on the process first, and give yourself a little time for your weight loss strategies to have a noticeable effect.  Like with many things in life, the process is just as important as the outcome (if not more).


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Garth is a writer and publisher of information on health and fitness, small business development, and other approaches towards personal empowerment.

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