I’m not a fan of weighing often, but I know that a lot of my readers are literally ADDICTED to the scale. I know how strong the urge to weigh yourself can be. I used to be a weighing maniac. I’d weigh first thing in the morning, then I’d weigh again after I used the bathroom. If I didn’t like the number, I’d wait a few seconds and try again, as if it was a problem with the scale. I’d weigh after a workout and be happy when I’d lost a couple pounds. Is that real weight loss? Heck no!! The numbers on the scale dictated how I felt that day, what I thought, what I could eat, and how long I exercised. Stop the madness!
I now only weigh myself on the first of every month. It has been so freeing. I still work hard and eat right, but I don’t have to see the daily fluctuations, and most of all, they don’t affect my mood or my choices.
This month I’m doing a fitness challenge with the members in my facebook group, so I’ve been weighing weekly. I feel some of those same feelings creeping back in and I don’t like it.
I realize that most of you will read my recommendation about weighing monthly or even weekly and think it won’t work for you. We’re all different, and that’s what makes life exciting. So for those of you who want to weigh more often, or feel that it actually keeps you on track, here are some tips for making sure you get the most accurate weight possible.
Choose one day and weigh yourself at the same time each week. A lot of people choose Monday, but for most people weekends are hard and usually include going out to restaurants (eating tons of sodium) and getting a little off their regular routine. This can result in a higher weigh-in on Monday morning. A better choice might be Wednesday after you’ve got a couple days of healthy eating in for the week. Call it weigh-in Wednesday and make it part of your regular routine.
Weigh in the Morning
Weighing yourself in the morning after you use the bathroom, but before you eat, is the most accurate. If you weigh in the evening, you’re also weighing food and drink that is still making its way through your digestive system.
Don’t Weigh after Exercise
I know it’s a common sight at the gym to see people jump off the treadmill and head for the scale. It’s possible to shed more than 2 pounds of water during a 1 hour cardio session. Water loss does not equal fat loss. Don’t delude yourself with a temporarily low scale reading, only to be disappointed the next morning.
Average Your Total
If you choose to weigh yourself every day, write down each weight, then average them at the end of the week to get a more accurate view point of exactly where you’re at. This will help even out some of the daily fluctuations you’ll see based on things that really aren’t related to your actual weight at all.
Use the Same Scale
To get a consistent record, it’s important to use the same scale. Don’t be surprised if you weigh yourself at a friend’s house and get a different reading. Make sure the scale is placed on a hard surface to get an accurate reading. If you’re using a digital scale, it’s important to calibrate it anytime it has been moved. Step on the scale once, then let it turn completely off. This should calibrate it to the surface it’s on. If you ever get a different reading on the second try, this could be why. To check the accuracy of your scale, try weighing a 5 pound dumbbell or bag of sugar.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a scale. I have an Ozeri Digital scale. It also has an electro-mechanical weight dial, and weighs up to 400 pounds. I like it a lot. It has a retro look and an oversized platform to make weighing easy. It even has a built-in alarm you can set to remind yourself to weigh at the same time. It’s been really accurate so far, and is very affordable.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how often to weigh yourself. Keep in mind the scale is simply a tool to keep you on track. Don’t give it power over your feelings or decisions. The number on the scale does not define your self worth. Most important, when faced with a decision, always choose the healthy one. Be consistent and you’ll see progress over time.
A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about tracking your fitness progress WITHOUT using the scale which received a lot of good feedback if you’re looking for some other ideas. Check it out.
Join the Conversation
How do you feel about weighing yourself? Have you ever been addicted to the scale? How often do you prefer to weigh?
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.