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What Is The Value in Weighing Yourself Regularly?

Posted Feb 04 2013 4:31am

Here’s a topic that comes up all the time in the weight loss world:

 ”Should you weigh everyday?

Although I definitely have my own opinions on this topic, I don’t have the definitive answer because I do not think there is just a single “correct” way to handle this.

All I can do is share with you how I approached the scale at three different points on my journey.

When I was gaining weight at a fast rate, I rarely stood on the scale. In case you don’t know my “weight gain” story, I gained about 50 pounds in the first three years of my marriage and 75 pounds with my first pregnancy.

After my first child was born I hated getting on the scale at all, so had no desire to stand on the scale. My occasional visits to my doctor were enough to convince me that weighing myself did no good. All I felt was depression and the desire to stick my head into a bowlful of candy. When I was trying Weight Watchers or some other diet program I did weigh, but only because I had to.

During my final weight loss attempt I committed to myself to weigh every single day. I know, I know – a lot of you may disagree and that’s okay, but that is what worked for me. I weighed regularly to check in with myself. I checked in on my progress or lack thereof. Honestly, there were a lot of days when the scale bumped up or stayed the same, but I didn’t let those bumps scare me off. Instead, I became very attuned to my body and its normal monthly fluctuations.

I learned very quickly that weight loss is not a straight line down, but often shows a lot of bumps along the way. However, seeing the downward trend was motivating to me and I was able to see the plateaus and bumps as part of the process rather than a reason to quit.

Weighing daily kept me accountable.

After I reached my final weight I had to decide whether or not to continue with the daily weigh-ins. After some thought, I did decide to continue weighing daily and I’m glad I did. Fifteen years later, I still stand on the scale every morning. Personally, it keeps me honest with myself and accountable. I allow myself a 3 to 5 pound range to fluctuate within, and when the high number shows up on the scale, I take immediate action. I ramp up the exercise and watch the extra snacking that I may have allowed into my life.

There are studies that show that the benefits of weighing daily. A study from the University of Minnesota found that adults who weighed themselves daily while dieting, lost 12 pounds in 2 years, whereas people who weighed themselves weekly lost six pounds.  The daily weighers also had less of a tendency to regain their weight.  I have found this to be true – not only in my one-on-one interactions with people, but also in my weight loss class.  The people who weigh daily tend to lose more weight than those that don’t.

It is a personal choice, but if you are struggling with lack of progress, then consider weighing more frequently as that may actually help you in the long run. (As long as you can accept those normal fluctuations!)

Where are you on the scale issue? Do you weigh every day, every week, or have you thrown the thing out the window and rely on other measures to measure your progress and keep you accountable? Diane

Image courtesy of Ambro/

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