How often should I weigh myself?

This question has the same answer as, “How long is a piece of string?”  In other words, there is no right or wrong answer, but it depends for what you are going to use the piece of string.

The answer to how often you should weigh yourself is a personal one, but it comes down to this:

  • Weigh yourself as often as you need to keep yourself accountable
  • Don’t weigh yourself so much that it drives you crazy and the number is all you can think of

Which of the following is you?


a) Your weighing habits affect your mood:

  • If you find yourself obsessed with the number on the scales
  • If you think about the number and worry about it all day
  • If the number affects your mood for that day i.e. low number = happy, high number = grumpy

Then you are weighing yourself too often!

You need to try:

  • Not weighing yourself at all – measure your progress by an item of clothing instead
  • Weighing a maximum of once a month


b) Your next weigh in date determines your eating habits:

  • If you find yourself in a cycle of eating unhealthy food just after a weigh in followed by your food choices getting healthier the closer you get to your weigh in
  • If you don’t weigh yourself if you had a big meal the night before your normal weigh in day

You need to try:

  • Weighing yourself more often, and averaging the results over a period of time to get the big picture
  • Remembering the scales are not a teacher that tells you off after you’ve had an unhealthy snack!


c) You weigh yourself constantly:

  • If you have to stand on the scales at least twice a day, morning and evening
  • If you panic if you are not going to be somewhere with scales at your scheduled weigh in time
  • If you are obsessive about weighing yourself naked, after going to the bathroom, and before eating anything

You need to try:

  • Taking it down a notch – try cutting back to once a day to start with, with the aim of getting down to once a week
  • If you can’t do it, get a close friend to hide your scales for a couple of days to help you realize that you can get through the day without standing on the scales


So – what about me?  Well I’m not proud to say I’ve done all three of the above – all in the name of sensibly keeping track of my weight!

At the moment I am trying to eat healthily and cut back a bit to lose a few excess Christmas pounds.  The most effective way of keeping track of my weight at the moment seems to be to weigh every day, first thing in the morning when I wake up, whenever that may be.  I keep the weight tracked on a spreadsheet, and then I take the average of my weight for the last seven days and take that as my true weight.  This smooths out the ups and downs of the last week and lets me see my progress on a more realistic scale without driving me too crazy in any of the above ways!

Do you weigh yourself regularly?  How do you keep the crazy at bay?

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