This Is Exactly When You Should Step On The Scale To Track Your Weight-Loss Progress
You’ve got a weight-loss goal. You’ve got a plan for making that goal happen. And you’ve got a scale in the corner of your bathroom to keep tabs on your progress along the way. So you’re good to go, right?
Not so fast: Just because you step on a scale periodically doesn’t necessarily mean you’re using it in a productive way. You can’t exactly hop on whenever the mood strikes and expect to gain meaningful information from it.
There are a slew of possible reasons why your weight can fluctuate day to day. So if you’re going to use a scale as a tracking tool, you’ve gotta know a few best practices. There’s not only a best time of day to weigh yourself, but also an ideal frequency when it comes to doing weigh-ins. Oh, and there’s a best way to contextualize the number you read, and even a best kind of scale for measuring accurately and easily.
Ahead, literally everything you’ve ever wanted to know about self-weighing to help monitor a health goal…and some things you didn’t even know you wanted to know.
If you know that weigh-ins are helpful for you, this is when—and how often—to do ’em.
The only time you should weigh yourself is first thing in the morning, after you go to the bathroom, with no clothes on, says Charlie Seltzer, MD, an obesity medicine physician and exercise specialist in Philadelphia.
You want to take the most stripped-down measurement you can, without any unnecessary ounces weighing you down (pun intended). That way, you’re getting the most accurate reads possible. (Think about it: If you were wearing a heavy dress and shoes on the scale one evening then weighed yourself sans clothes the next morning, you’d see different numbers, right?)
Dr. Seltzer also recommends getting on the scale every day for consistency, keeping in mind that the numbers will naturally go both up and down regardless of what you ate or how much you worked out the day before. “Individual body weight on a given day is irrelevant,” he says. “You have to look at the trends over time, so that one day’s weight is simply a data point.”