How Often Should I Weigh Myself When Trying to Lose Weight?

So you want to know, “How often should I weigh myself when trying to lose weight?

According to the Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, people who weigh themselves daily lose 12-18 pounds more than those who weigh less frequently. Weighing daily seems to act as your automated accountability partner and can keep you from lying to yourself about your current state of health. 

Here are some rules for weighing yourself with a sophisticated mindset:

  1. Don’t Get Overly Excited When You Lose – Try not to get too excited when you lose 1 or more pounds in a day because some of this will most certainly be water weight and can return as fast as it left. Say to yourself, “Good job, my body seems to be in good balance.”
  2. Don’t Get Overly Excited When You Gain – Definitely don’t get down on yourselves when you gain one or more pounds in a day. It’s nearly impossible to lose 1 pound of actual fat in a day; it’s equally unlikely that you will gain 1 pound or more of fat in a day so view it as water retention!
  3. Women’s Weigh In Red Zone – Ladies, be especially careful in the 10 days leading up to your period as this is the water retention zone for you! If you can distance yourself from the result then weigh in during these times, if you get a knee-jerk depression from seeing the number climb, just don’t weigh in for the 10 days prior to your period.
  4. Weigh In When You’re Good AND When You Are Bad – Most people will weigh in only after they have eaten well and exercised regularly, somehow we “forget” to weigh in after we have been partying or “letting the slack out”. Weigh in every day, accountability can’t work when you are only accountable to good behavior.
  5. View Results as Information NOT a Judgement! When you weigh in a lighter weight, ask yourself, “What did I do to produce these results and how can I capitalize on those results?” If you weigh in heavier than the day before, ask yourself, “What did I do to produce these results and what can I learn from this weigh in?” Did you eat more salty foods? Are you in your Water Retention Zone? Did you eat more carbs over the last few days? Just remember, weigh ins are information not some sort of judgement!
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