While you shouldn’t identify with a weight that shows on a scale, using weight as a metric to track your progress can be a good way to see how you’re going.

It’s not the only thing that matters, and it doesn’t always reflect what EXACTLY is happening with your body, but we can’t deny that it’s a good metric to track and a good way to see your progress.

How often you weigh yourself is completely up to you.

It doesn’t matter if you’re weighing yourself once a month, once a week or once a day. As long as you’re not obsessing over it and creating a toxic relationship with some random number on a scale, you can use the data.

If you’re seeing numbers on the scale and getting disheartened, emotional or discouraged, you might want to ease up on how often you weigh yourself. This is when other metrics such as strength, fitness, tape measurements and body fat tests are useful.

It might help to take your focus off the scale.

The scale is data. It’s numbers that we plot and monitor. It’ll go up, down and every which way along your journey. The key is to not get attached to the number.

We’re playing the long game. Just because it spikes up overnight doesn’t mean that you’re fatter now. It doesn’t mean that you’ve put on 500g of fat overnight. It could just mean you are holding a bit more water. Or you ate more carbohydrates yesterday. Or more sodium yesterday. There are a million reasons why your weight went up that have nothing to do with the amount of fat you have.

Rather than judging your progress on a day-to-day basis, look at the trends over weeks and months. Is your weight consistently trending down over longer periods? Is it going down week to week? Month to month?

If it is, then you are on the right track. Judging yourself day-to-day, almost never results in a good relationship with the scale.

Comparing day 31 of your journey to day 30 might leave you feeling discouraged. But if you compare day 31 to day 1 – you’ve come a long way!

How often should you weigh yourself1

You also need to make sure you’re weighing yourself correctly.
I know what you’re thinking – ‘how hard can it be to step on a scale?’

You’re right, it’s not hard to get on the scales – but you need to do it in the same conditions every time to get the most accurate reading.

If you weigh yourself at 7am and then weigh yourself at 7pm, you will get completely different results. Are you fatter from those 12 hours?

Of course not!

But you do have a stomach full of food. Your glycogen stores are full. You’re holding onto water. All these add weight to the scale.

That’s how fickle the scales are.

So, to ensure the most accurate results from your weigh-ins you need to:

  • Weigh yourself first thing in the morning
  • Weigh yourself after going to the toilet
  • Don’t eat or drink anything
  • Wear minimal clothing and make sure it’s always the same (a hoodie and jeans will weigh more than your underwear, shocking right?)

Make sure you’re consistent all the time and you weigh yourself under the same conditions.

How often should you weigh yourself2
Once you’ve got that right, and you’ve detached yourself from the number on the scales – then you can weigh yourself whenever you like.
 
I like every day, because then you have a lot of data points and you can see the trends forming. It also allows you to take a weekly average from all your weigh-ins.
 
If you weigh yourself too little, you may check your weight on a day where you spiked up a little. You may then get discouraged and give up even though your weight was actually lower yesterday and was going to drop the day after.
 
If you weigh yourself every day, you can see everything that’s going on. This also allows you to take the average off the 7 days each week and compare them to other weeks.
 
Any daily spikes or drops throughout the week are then averaged out and compared on a whole, rather than worrying about the fact that you spiked up 200g on Thursday.
 
Weight loss isn’t linear. It doesn’t just go down in a nice straight line. It fluctuates up and down all the time. If you can see this happening and understand why, it makes it a lot easier to contend with.

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