Is weighing yourself a help or a hinderance?
- Date: 31/05/2018
- By: John Rodgers
Weight fluctuations are common because your weight is determined by a variety of factors. These include but are not limited to:
- How hydrated you are
- What you recently ate
- Your bathroom habits
- The climate
- Your exercise routine
- How tired you are that day
- Your emotional state
A few pounds of weight fluctuation here or there are usually not a result of fat gain but a result of your body doing exactly what it needs to do to regulate its physiological functions. So, how often should you weigh yourself? Whether your goal is maintenance, loss or gain, let’s talk about how helpful the scale are.
Many people find weighing in daily provides a sense of accountability and is helpful for having a good idea of where they are with their progress. For many, it helps to keep progress on track. If you’re able to look at the overall trend and not stress about the fluctuations, then by all means, weigh yourself daily.
Does a 0.4-pound weight gain put you in a bad mood? Or, are you absolutely elated to see that you’re down 1 pound? If the daily weigh-ins powerfully affect your mood and behaviour, then you might want to reconsider how often you weigh yourself. The number on the scale should not have the power to dictate your mood, the events of the day or your overall quality of life — it’s just a number and if you look at for what it actually; it is just the effect of gravity on an object (you).
Weighing weekly can have its advantages — it allows you to track progress while still having six whole days to not focus on your weight.
For best results, pick a consistent day each week, and weigh yourself in the morning. Look for trends, but don’t get caught up in the small fluctuations. Recognise that it will take a few weeks to get a picture of where the trend is heading. This can be a good tool to help you feel accountable without making you ride a daily emotional roller coaster.
Some people opt for the occasional weight check-in. People may do this at home or rely on the scale at the gym or doctor’s office to get an idea of where they are. People who opt for the occasional weigh-in often have alternative ways of identifying weight shifts, like the way their clothes fit or how their strength is while exercising.
There are many people out there who smash their scale and never look back. Some people find it helpful to focus on how they feel in their clothes, the balance of their meals, snacks, energy levels and how they perform with their exercise rather than focusing on the number. This can be a valid way to approach health — there is much more to health than a number on the scale!
If you are weighing yourself multiple times per day, stop! With rare exceptions, you should not weigh yourself more than once per day. Obsessing over a number on the scale can turn into a very problematic pattern that can disturb the peace and happiness in your life. If you decide to weigh yourself, the scale should be a tool that helps you, not harms you.
Overall, ask yourself about what is most helpful for you. For some, daily weigh-ins are the best route. For others, weighing less often is better for overall health. Each of us has different ways of experiencing things and inviting motivation and positivity into our lives. Find what works for you and stick to it!