By Registered Dietitian
on September 17, 2008
Although many people succeed at losing weight, few manage to keep the weight off for the long haul. Those who have are referred to as “successful losers” and research studies on these individuals reveal the keys to permanent weight loss. More...
By dotFIT experts
on October 07, 2008
Dieting to lose weight is difficult at best, and generally ends in frustration for the average person. The majority of people gain most of the weight back within the first year. However, there are three strategies that have consistently proven to be effective in losing weight and maintaining the loss. More...

How often should I weigh myself?

Answer: According to recent scientific studies, the more the better (see figures below).  Day-to-day body weight may be a poor assessment of actual body tissue change (fat and lean body mass) because of daily fluctuations of body water and intestinal contents. But when weight is plotted over time, the trend is extremely accurate and indisputable at determining the body’s change.

If you are attempting weight loss or preventing weight gain, dotFIT recommends you weigh as often as possible and chart the progress. Make your adjustments anytime the trend is going the wrong way. See Keys to Permanent Weight Loss and Proven Strategies for Weight Loss for more.

More details
All studies investigating self-weighing as a weight control strategy have demonstrated that the more you weigh yourself the greater the weight loss, maintenance of the loss and prevention of weight gain. Research also validated the reverse: the less often subjects weighed in, the lower their chance of success and more likely those who checked their weight the least or never were to gain weight. Presumably by the time they would weigh themselves, if ever, it was too late to undo the damage without a significant lifestyle change. Hence they continued to gain weight.

The figures below captures the significant results of regular weighing. More significantly, as time went on the subjects who consistently weighed themselves continued to reduce their body mass index (BMI), which is completely opposite today’s norm.

Subjects weighing multiple times a week reported that anytime weight was not trending in a desired direction they would make a simple adjustment. Sometimes eating slightly less (including skipping a meal) or an alteration in exercise would allow them to maintain an easy, steady course to the goal. Additionally, the fact that you have to weigh each day (or most days) influences people to “think twice” about consuming something that might give them an undesirable weigh-in.

 

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