How often should I weigh myself? This is a question that pops in the head of most dieters. The answer, unfortunately, is not black and white.
In this article, I share what the research has to say about the frequency of self-weighing and share some insights from dieters who are actively working toward their goal.
Self-Weighing Article Summary
- Research suggests that more frequent self-weighing was associated with greater weight loss or weight gain prevention.
- More frequent weighing is defined as self-weighing daily or weekly
- Ultimately, the decision of how often to weigh yourself is a personal one
How Often Should I Weigh Myself? [Video]
In this video, you’ll learn…
- What research has to say about the frequency of weigh-ins.
- My own personal perspective on the topic.
- What my clients have to say about their weigh-in preferences!
Research on How Often to Weigh Yourself
I was curious to learn what research has discovered about the impact of monitoring your weight as you diet and was surprised to find many articles on the topic.
Many studies indicated that more frequent self-weighing was associated with greater weight loss or weight gain prevention. By more frequent, they meant those who weighed themselves daily or weekly (1).
We could go with the research and stop there, but I’ve found that the choice of how often to weigh yourself is a personal decision. I can comment on this from a personal perspective.
I came to a crossroads in my life when I realized that I could no longer keep eating the way I was eating. So, I created a plan to follow in 40-day diet cycles.
If you’re curious about the origin of the 40-days at a time approach, I will point you to a video on my YouTube channel that provides the full story.
Basically, 40 is a biblical number and as a Christian woman, it has significance to me.
When I set my sights on 40 days, I focused on following my plan without exception. I trusted that it would get me the results that I wanted.
That meant that I needed to resist the urge to weigh myself. I only weighed in on each 40th day. That took discipline, but it worked well for me because I didn’t get into that mental struggle that can come from more frequent weigh-ins.
I often say that we live in a very intelligent machine that is constantly making adjustments to keep us alive and functioning. You may have a goal of seeing the scale drop every day, but your body does not share that goal. If it needs to retain water to maintain balance, it will do that. That water weight will show up on the scale.
For me, at that time in my life, I didn’t feel mentally strong enough to weather the inevitable times when my weight would plateau or slow down, so I put off weighing in until the complete 40-Day Diet cycle was over.
How to Decide for Yourself
Some members of my coaching program share this philosophy and others do not.
For instance, one of the members posed this question in our forum:
This spurred a lively conversation among members. Some members use the forum to post their weekly weigh-in results and find that it provides accountability that keeps them on track.
Others take a looser approach and weigh themselves sporadically to make sure they are moving in the right direction.
While others find strength in daily weigh-ins and feel that knowing where their body is each day provides them with more information or simply satisfies their curiosity.
What it really comes down to is that how often you elect to weigh-in is a personal choice.
The overarching goal of any weight loss program should be to create for yourself a way of eating that is easy-to-follow, enjoyable, and effective. When you have those three E’s in place, there is no reason to step away from your diet and you will reach your goal.
(1) VanWormer, Jeffrey J., et al. “The impact of regular self-weighing on weight management: a systematic literature review.” International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity 5.1 (2008): 54.
About the Author
Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.