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When Should You Weigh Yourself?

Updated on January 9, 2020
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Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes articles that are interesting to her readers.

Person standing on scale
Person standing on scale | Source

You have probably been given various information about the best time to weigh yourself when you are trying to lose weight. Unfortunately, there is conflicting information. Physicians, dietitians, and nutritionists don't always agree about the ideal time to weigh yourself.

Even though you have been told in the past when to weigh yourself, be open to the following advice.

When Should You Weigh Yourself?

Some experts say you should not weigh yourself every day because on some days you might get false readings. You might become disappointed and give up on your weight loss program if you weigh significantly more one day than the day before.

One the other hand, if you skip some days and see a significant loss when you do weigh yourself, you will be more motivated to keep doing what you are doing. The downside of that is when you see that you are losing weight, you might be tempted to cheat on your diet and eat that extra slice of pie.

Other experts say you should weigh yourself every day so you can get an idea of how your weight-loss program is going day by day.

Whether you weigh yourself every day or once a week, there are some tips you might welcome.

Source

Which Day Should You Weigh Yourself?

You might have been advised not to weigh yourself on just any day of the week because there is one day that will give you a better reading. So, which day is that?

Brian Wansink, director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, says most people weigh themselves on the wrong day of the week. He shared that some people like weighing themselves on Sunday nights at the end of the weekend. Wansink says in order to get an accurate reading, people should weigh themselves only on Wednesdays.

In his book, "Slim by Design" Wansink says people weigh themselves the least on Friday mornings as they go into the weekend. He contends that is not an ideal time to weigh yourself for a precise reading. He concludes that weighing yourself on Wednesday is the best day because it is in the middle of the week that is not affected by weekend eating.

Weigh Yourself on the Same Day of the Week

Some people stand by the belief that in order to get an accurate reading, they should weigh on the same day of every week. It could be Wednesday or some other day as long as it is the same day every week.

By weighing yourself on the same day every week, you will be able to see how consistent your weight is on a regular basis. Even though Wansink suggests the best day is Wednesday, there are a lot of variables that should be considered.

People's weight could go up or down depending on several things. Those things include how much food they have eaten, the amount of water in their body, how much sleep they have gotten, and how much exercise they have done before stepping on the scale.

Other Days to Weigh Yourself

Experts are not on the same page when it comes to recommending which day of the week to weigh yourself. Wansink thinks Wednesday is the ideal day. Registered dietitian for the American Dietetic Association Dawn Jackson Blatner says it really doesn't matter which day you weigh yourself because there are a lot of factors that affect a person's weight no matter which day of the week the person weighs.

Some people favor Monday morning to weigh themselves. They think it is better because it is after a weekend when they had a chance to work out. There are others who believe they weigh more on Monday morning because they indulged in extra foods and drinks over the weekend.

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So, What's the Verdict?

Blatner recommends what she thinks is a better answer to the question about when to weigh yourself. She suggests that people should weigh themselves only once a week instead of every day because they often become obsessed with the number they are seeing on the scale instead of focusing on their overall eating and exercising plan.

The registered dietitian advises her patients to focus on keeping things the same. That means weighing themselves at the same time on the same day each week while wearing the same clothes and using the same scale in the same location.

Weighing yourself at different times during the day while wearing different clothes can lead to discrepancies in your weight pattern.

Even with suggestions from the weight-loss experts and other professionals, many people will find their own rhythm and do what works for them.

Helpful Tips

Here are some helpful tips that you might find useful.

  1. Always use the same scale every time you weigh yourself.
  2. Keep the scale in the same location. If you keep moving the scale to different locations, it will lose its capability to always be accurate.
  3. Make sure the scale is on a hard surface instead of on a carpet or rug.
  4. If you are weighing yourself in the comfort of your own home, remove all clothes and shoes and weigh yourself while you are naked for a true reading.
  5. Weigh yourself before you eat or drink anything in the morning. The number on the scale while your stomach is empty is your true weight.

When do you weigh yourself?

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

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