Keeping a regular tab of our weight is important when we are trying to lose excess pounds. It can help us to make the required behavior modifications that keep us on track towards our goals. Knowing how often to check our weight is a question that often receives mixed responses. Some experts stress that checking our weight daily has been proven to help you lose more weight. Others point out that due to the body's daily fluctuations in weight caused by food and water intake daily weight checking is not only inaccurate but stressful and needless. With this in mind, we've conducted some research into the pros and cons of both and look to provide answers to the common question asked of how often should you weigh yourself?
Pros of daily weight checking:
A year-long study conducted in the US by the University of Minnesota and Cornell University found that people who weighed themselves on a daily basis lost about 2 kilograms more on average than those who didn't. A couple of important factors to note, however, is that the individuals who did lose more weight by weighing themselves were mainly men. On top of this, the study doesn't take into account the fact that many of the participants may have benefited from the added pressure of the fact they were being monitored for a study.
Another study also points out that weighing yourself every day has positive effects on weight loss. A 2017 Journal of Behavioral Medicine study at the University of Pennsylvania conducted on 294 females found that students who weighed themselves every day over a two-year period showed decreases in both their BMI and body fat percentages. It is believed by many nutritionists and dietitians that checking our weight daily helps us to stay disciplined and on course with our target weight loss. Furthermore, there are some people that find checking their weight daily very motivational.
Cons of daily weight checking:
On average our weight fluctuates by 5 pounds each day due to eating, hormonal changes, drinking and exercising. For a normal person who isn't aware of these figures, this can be alarming. Picture a person having a day of exercising for 2 hours and eating healthy only to weigh themselves and notice that they were 2 pounds heavier than yesterday. Stepping off the scales in a state of anxiety, the person shakes their head and tells themselves they must have to exercise more and eat less to lose weight. Little do they know that the following morning after their food and water have passed through them they will actually be 1 pound lighter then what they were a few days ago. If we are not made aware of how the human body's weight can change naturally throughout the day we're likely to experience a mixture of daily emotions whilst we continue to check our weight in this manner. Ultimately it can make a person miserable. Unfortunately once a person is made aware of these daily fluctuations in weight their stresses don't always end there. Often a person will then start questioning whether any decreases in weight have come from healthy dieting or from daily fluctuations in exercising. This usually occurs when a person becomes fixated on their weight. In essence, they start over-thinking their weight and end up stressing themselves out.
With the above factors in mind, we would conclude that checking your weight daily probably does help you to lose more weight in the long run. Unfortunately, this habit can also comes with an emotional price for a lot of people. Before answering the question of how often should you weigh yourself? you will need to decide which route to go down. Ask yourself if you're the type of person that would be affected by fluctuations in their weight readings. If you think you would we would suggest that you only check your weight twice per week at the same time each day. If you're the type of person that will take all of this in their stride then feel free to weigh yourself daily. Just don't forget that your weight can fluctuate by up to 5 pounds daily. The bottom line is that checking your weight twice per week is enough to keep you motivated and stop you from gaining any real weight.