Weighing Yourself- Does It Help Or Hurt?

How often do you weigh yourself? I ask my clients this question quite frequently, and the answers vary so greatly, it amazes me. Some people- both women and men- get on the scale daily- others refuse to get on at all. What is really best for us to stay on track, but not frustrate ourselves? Fitness experts and nutritionists give lots of varied answers as well, and I, too, have changed my mind over the years on this touchy subject.

Except for clients with a history of eating disorders, I believe it is important to occasionally weigh yourself . Daily weighing is a waste of time. Your bodyweight can fluctuate 2-5 pounds in one day, so this is a perfect way to really frustrate yourself!! Thus, I have found that weighing in once every two weeks is a sensible habit- one which will keep you on track whether you are trying to maintain or lose weight, or even gain weight.

There are several reasons for why this two week interval may be most appropriate. First,weight loss is rarely exact or predictable. Oftentimes, my clients will not lose weight one week, but will lose two pounds the next. So, expecting the scale to change EVERY week is not appropriate for most of us. Plus, the scales we use at home are not super accurate- especially for small weight changes like one pound. On the other side of the coin, weighing yourself every two weeks does not allow you to gain large amounts of weight without knowing it. I actually have a client who gained over 30 pounds in a year and did not realize it- he always wore loose clothing and was not focused on his appearance.

If the scale does depress you, you can always try measuring yourself-but even this can be inaccurate- so be as careful and exact as you can. Ultimately, the best tool for assessing change is a bodyfat test- something that a personal trainer can easily do for you! I will be conducting a survey of my clients and friends on their “scale habits”- watch for it soon! Feel free to let me know how you handle weighing in.