Should I weigh every day?
There is very good evidence to support the use of self-monitoring as a strategy to help you manage your weight. But weighing everyday may not be necessary, it really depends on where you are at in terms of your health, and what you are trying to do with your weight.
Active weight loss – weigh every day
If you want to lose weight and have set yourself a target within a time frame, it’s a good idea to weigh every day. This will help you to learn how your body loses weight. Everyone has a different body, and even on the same programme, will lose weight at a different rate. None of us has the same history with weight management, so figuring out how you respond to different programmes or systems of weight loss, can be supported by weighing every single day.
What makes my weight fluctuate?
When you weigh every day you see that your weight can change if your hormones are changing e.g. during menstruation.
The food and drink you consume
You will also notice how eating late in the day, or eating spicy or salty meals can affect your weight. Even when you eat the same number of calories but there is different macronutrient content, you may notice changes in your weight. Eating carbohydrates late often looks like weight gain in the morning. Don’t worry. Your weight will settle again during the day. If you drink alcohol the evening before weighing you might be dehydrated in the morning. And you might look like you have lost weight. Again, your weight will settle as long as you drink plenty of fluid. Most of the dietary aspects of weight fluctuations are driven by fluid.
Exercise can also affect fluctuations in your weight, and not because you have burnt up 100’s of calories, but because you are affecting how fluid is stored in your body. Weighing every day helps you to understand these nuances in weight change, and helps to keep you calm when you feel you are doing everything you are supposed to, but your weight is standing still, or increasing.
Weight loss maintenance
Once you achieve your goal weight, after a weight loss programme, it’s a good idea to continue to weigh yourself regularly. The evidence suggests that when we remain vigilant with this, and pay attention to the weighing scales, it helps us to keep between a narrow band of weight fluctuations.
You don’t have to weigh everyday if you don’t want to, instead you could weigh once per week, generally on the same day each week. This will help to keep you focused and bought into the work that you have already achieved, to reach your target. I tend to recommend individuals to wean themselves from weighing each day, to weighing perhaps 3 – 4 times per week, initially. This can help you to allay any anxiety you might experience, if not weighing every day. Nor is this to say that you have to stop weighing daily, if that helps you and doesn’t feel like it provokes stress in your day, then weighing every day is perfectly acceptable.
When should I not weigh?
If you have ever experienced an eating disorder, or are perhaps in the midst of one, it can be challenging to figure your way through with the weighing scales. The best thing in this scenario is to work off the guidance that your dietitian will have given you if you are in recovery, as he or she will have given the best guidance for you as an individual. Your guidance will be determined by your history and what type of eating disorder you have or are experiencing.
If you would like help with your weight management, or with an eating disorder, please get in touch. I will listen. I will see you.