Could stepping on the scales daily help weight loss? Posted by Justine Clarabut on 26 September, 2018

Whether you are trying to lose weight or just maintain your desired weight, there are a few things to consider about how often you should weigh yourself!
Weight fluctuates…

There are many factors that may make your weight fluctuate but don’t necessarily mean an increase or decrease in body fat!  Factors such as: eating a large meal late at night; certain foods; fluid retention caused by too much sodium or carbohydrates; dehydration from alcohol; strength training; a woman’s menstrual cycle and illness (to name but a few!)  A good thing to remember if weighing daily is that body weight fluctuations can be around 1lb – 5lbs and this doesn’t mean that you have gained 4lbs of fat overnight – that is impossible!  Over a week, 1lb or 2lbs of weight loss is considered normal.

Depending on your reasons for wanting to make changes to your health and body weight, there are indicators other than scales such as body composition, waist circumference, blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure; all of which can help to measure your progress.

Weighing yourself daily can give you a good idea of where your weight is at as you will notice a pattern emerging over weeks and possibly months which will be a good indication of whether or not you are making progress!  Weighing yourself daily should be done at the same time each day, preferably first thing in the morning before breakfast, as this will give a more accurate measurement of your weight.  We usually weigh more at night time – so stepping on scales before bed is not necessarily a good idea!

A study in the journal Obesity studied over 3,000 people, found that frequent weighing was associated with ‘cognitive restraint’ and those who hopped on the scales daily were less likely to increase their fat intake than those who weighed themselves less than weekly.  The outcome of the study was that daily weighing may help to maintain successful weight loss by enabling people to catch weight gains before they escalated and make changes to their lifestyle to prevent additional weight gain.

Watching your weight by leaping on the scales is often interpreted as success or failure!

The study also found that decreasing how often people weigh themselves was associated with greater weight gain.  Weighing yourself daily can be incredibly detrimental to some people if they are not losing weight as quickly as they would like to!  It can become soul destroying and leads to decreased motivation! Therefore to weigh yourself less frequently, say once a week or once a month, may show a larger increase in weight loss and you won’t get so hung up on the daily fluctuations!  It is best to select the same day and time each week or month and record your weight loss.

However, it is good to remember that weighing yourself is a tool that you can use to help reduce or maintain your weight, it is not a rule that must be adhered to!

Whichever way you choose to go in terms of measuring your weight, your focus should be on how good you feel about your body, your attitude and your self-esteem which will help to work towards a healthier you!

Calculating your ideal weight: BMI

Weight (kg) divided by Height (m) divided by Height (m) = BMI
Example: 75kg / 1.8m / 1.8m = 23.1

 

References

healthline.com / myfitnesspal.com / independent.co.uk