When should you weigh yourself to accurately track your weight loss?

Whether you want to shed a few pounds or are just trying to get an accurate snapshot of your health, getting consistent metrics is essential.

Newsweek spoke to experts about when to weigh yourself to accurately track weight loss and fluctuations over time.

When is the best time to weigh yourself?

Sarah Wall, an eating behavior change coach, says consistency is key when deciding when to weigh yourself.

She said Newsweek“Most people prefer to weigh themselves in the morning before we have eaten or drunk anything, as that is when most of us are the lightest of the day.

“It’s not uncommon for people to be weighed in the evening during weight loss groups. Either way, the idea is to track weight loss weekly for accurate tracking.”

Carolina Mountford, eating disorder expert and mental health advocate, agrees to say Newsweek: “Measuring yourself at the same time of day each week is more important than time of day when it comes to tracking weight loss.”

Woman checking the kilograms going up on the scale. One of the first things you do when you go to the doctor for your annual physical is step on the scale.
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Wall also notes that it’s normal for women’s weight to fluctuate depending on which week of their menstrual cycle they’re in.

Wall said, “Many women find that they can retain water before and during their period and weigh a few pounds more than usual.”

“For really accurate weight loss tracking, a woman would want to look at her weight every week of her cycle for a few months for consistent weight loss tracking.”

“The best way to measure yourself for weight loss, as a woman, is to use a tape measure to measure your waist across your belly button and your hips across the bony part, followed by a scale and waist size. dress.”

However, Daniel Herman, Bio-Synergy Fitness Ambassador, says that while body weight can fluctuate throughout the day, “scales may show higher or lower numbers depending on what time of day a person use them”.

He said Newsweek“Scales can be used as a guide to weight loss. Studies have shown that people who weigh themselves six to seven times a week instead of just once a week have increased weekly weight loss.”

Plus size woman measuring waist with tape
The number you see on the scale is the sum of your lean body mass, including muscle, organs, bone, water, blood, and fat mass.
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Should you weigh yourself?

Mountford, an eating disorder expert, advises people to avoid the scale altogether for peace of mind.

She said Newsweek“Our relationship with scales and numbers can all too easily take a turn and become incredibly destructive.

“It can, in some cases, just tip someone who is on the verge of developing an eating disorder or someone with a history of eating disorders whose recovery is still fragile, draw them to new.

If you’ve been affected by eating disorders or similar issues, Mountford suggests instead judging your progress by the feel of your clothes instead of the numbers on the scale.

Herman also agreed that weight isn’t the only indicator of health.

“A person’s fluid intake, activity level and hormones can all influence the number on the scale, even if they weigh themselves at the same time each day.”

It’s also worth remembering that if you also exercise, you might gain muscle that weighs more than fat.

Josh Davies, personal trainer at Aimee Victoria Long, also said Newsweek: “You don’t always have to be obsessed with the scale to notice that you are losing weight.”

How to measure yourself to lose weight

If you are not concerned with the questions mentioned above, Damien Coates, founder of The Lean Body Project and bestselling author of the book The lean body solutionadvises its clients to “weigh themselves every day to monitor the average progress of weight loss”.

He said Newsweek“Weigh yourself first thing in the morning, after going to the bathroom and before you eat or drink anything.

“Your weight will fluctuate and is not a straight line, as with any successful journey, so understanding your trends is key to measuring weight loss.”

A lady measuring her waist with tape
A woman measuring her waist with tape. Studies show that people typically gain two-thirds of the weight back within two years of losing weight
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Tips for measuring weight loss

PT Josh Davies and author Coates provided their key tips for measuring weight loss.

  • Weigh yourself first thing in the morning.
  • Do it naked.
  • Stay at the same time of day.
  • Be sure to use the same set of ladders, in the same position.
  • Track your daily weight on Happy Scale (iOS) or Libra (android).

Coates said, “These apps give you a moving average.”

Davies said: “Just make sure you stick to the same day and time each week when you weigh yourself. I say weekly, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

“It could be every two weeks or once a month. But to get a good idea if you’re meeting your goals, it’s important to keep as many factors the same when considering.”

If you identify with the themes mentioned in this article, free confidential help is available from the National Eating Disorders Association. Call (800) 931-2237 or text “NEDA” to 741741. The line is available 24 hours a day, every day. You can also chat with them online here.

Specialists from the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation are also available via email. You can contact them here.

One leg stepping on a scale
Fat loss is a slow process and dramatic weight loss does not happen daily.
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