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Q&A: How Often Should I Weigh Myself?

By on December 9, 2012
weighing-in

How often you weigh yourself depends entirely on how much emphasis you place on your weight and how encouraging — or discouraging — the changes you see will be for you. Weight is only one small factor to the full fitness picture so if you place too much of your hopes in seeing changes on the scale, you might want to weigh yourself as infrequently as possible so that you see the bigger changes and not necessarily the smaller ones (which tend to fluctuate a bit more).

In the course of a two week span, you will gain and lose anywhere from a few ounces to a few pounds but when you’re eating healthy and exercising regularly you’ll find at the end of the two week period that you’ve got a deficit when compared to the start of the cycle. If these fluctuations are going to discourage you, you will do yourself a great justice by not seeing them and sticking to a more spread out weigh schedule that will show you a more overall picture.

If these fluctuations do not bother you, you could weigh daily. Personally I tend to weigh first thing every morning, but I only record my weight on a weekly basis and then I analyze that weekly data quarterly over the course of the year to develop the big picture. This lets me stay mindful of how my behavior in a 24 hour period impacts my weight as a whole, but also helps me to realize that one bad day is greatly offset by a string of good ones! I’ve noticed that I tend to lose more when I run consistently and that has encouraged me to run more. I have also noticed that I can directly tie bad eating days to gain fluctuations so I do everything I can to limit those. In these ways, I find it helpful because I can modify my habits to maximize my results, but I did have to get myself to a point where it wasn’t discouraging to see an increase in the numbers.

Decisions like this are seemingly trivial but you have to understand that challenges, especially fitness-related challenges, are often more mental than physical so if you recognize signs that doing things one way are negatively affecting your mentality regarding your fitness journey, you may want to try something different. So, to answer your question directly — weigh as often as you like, but make sure you are aware of how what you see affects your motivation and adjust your weigh-in schedule if necessary to maintain a positive outlook. In the grand scheme of things, your progress is more about how you FEEL and the differences you can pinpoint about your current state in relation to the state you were in when you first began. Weight is only a part of the goal – HEALTH and FITNESS are more than just a number.

Also, invest in a nice digital scale that gives you decimal places. 0.1 = 1.6 ounces so even if you haven’t lost a full pound, at least this way you can see when you’ve lost ounces…

TIP:

Measure yourself every 2-4 weeks and keep track of your progress that way as well. This way, you’ll be able to see physical changes that are NOT reflected in your weight. Bear in mind, though, that for the first few weeks, you may see little to no change or even as increase in your size — this is normal. When you start an exercise routine, you’re building muscle at the same time that you’re burning fat so there’s an offset before you start to really notice a decline in your inches!

How often do YOU weigh yourself? Have you noticed anything affected by frequent weigh-ins? I’d love to know how you decided on your own weigh-in schedule. Leave a comment below :)

About Kat Robertson

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