When Should I Weigh Myself and How Often Should I do it?
It’s no secret that regularly weighing yourself is an essential way of keeping track of your fitness progress. Ask any doctor, nurse, personal trainer or fitness fanatic and they will probably all sing the praises of the importance of a routine appointment with your scales. And that's just for everyday users! For professional athletes it is an absolute necessity to know how much you weigh as it can impact speed, performance and your ability to recover from injury.
But what is the most effective approach to weighing yourself? Should you weigh yourself every day, every week, or every month? And is there a best time of day to measure your weight?
Unlike sports stars and professional athletes, we don’t all have access to a personal trainer who can give us the answers to these questions, but that’s exactly why we’ve made this article. Whether you’re a fitness newby or a seasoned gym veteran, a casual park-runner or a health-conscious yoga guru, hopefully there will be something for you to take away from this comprehensive guide to weighing yourself.
Inscale stocks a selection of scales and balances for sports and fitness applications, whether it be for measuring your BMI or for portion control purposes. View our full range here.
How often should I weigh myself?
Although this might seem like a fairly straightforward question, there are in fact quite a few different schools of though on the topic. Importantly it should be noted that we are all different; our body types, our fitness goals and our mental health should all be taken into account when deciding how regularly to weigh yourself.
Weighing yourself daily
Weighing yourself every day is a successful practise for many people, although it’s one that requires dedication and commitment. It can be hugely beneficial to see a daily weight measurement as any unplanned gains or losses can immediately be spotted and rectified. It also keeps your fitness goal firmly in your mind at all times and means you are less likely to have an unhealthy weekend binge.
There are however some potential drawbacks when weighing yourself every day that you should bear in mind. Too much attention can be given to the scale, which ultimately could result in an unhealthy relationship with it. You may find yourself getting frustrated when your weight goes in the wrong direction, which when you consider that your weight fluctuates naturally every day by around 5 pounds, is highly possible.
In severe circumstances, obsessively weighing yourself can result in mental health issues such as bulimia, anxiety and depression, so it’s really important that you follow a routine that is right for you and your body. Only weigh yourself every day if you’re sure you are capable of dealing with the pressures that might come with it.
Weighing yourself weekly
For the average person, weighing yourself weekly is probably more of a plausible routine. It still allows you to follow your progress closely enough to keep you on track but gives you time away from the scale so that you can focus on other things. It can also improve accuracy of your weighing as minor fluctuations such as water weight or food intake are less likely to interfere with results.
In some cases, a person can weigh themselves and then forget about their fitness routine until the following week. We’ve probably all been guilty of doing something like this at some point so don’t worry if this sounds like you. If you do struggle with sticking to a plan, it’s probably best to opt for a daily weigh in to make sure your weight is constantly being tracked. Alternatively, food diaries and exercise logs can be just as useful in making sure that you are maintaining your fitness routine all day and every day.
Weighing yourself monthly
If you weigh yourself once a month whilst following a fitness routine, the likelihood is that you will encounter quite a few drawbacks. It simply doesn’t allow for you to constantly track your weight, which ultimately means that losing focus is far more likely and that altering any unplanned weight changes is going to be a lot harder. The only time that weighing yourself monthly is sufficient is when you’re not dieting and only need to keep a record of how much you weigh for general reference.
When should I weigh myself?
It is quite normal for your weight to change daily due to all kinds of factors, such as food consumption, level of hydration or illness. With this in mind, it is widely considered that first thing in the morning is the best time to weigh yourself, preferably after you have emptied your bladder. This is the longest point in the day where your body has not consumed food or liquid, so you should be getting a much more accurate reading of what your true bodyweight is. If you go to a gym or sports facility as part of your morning routine, make sure to take a few minutes and step on the gym weighing scales beforehand.
Although weighing yourself in the morning is preferable, the main thing is to be consistent. It would be better to weigh yourself consistently at night than to weigh yourself at different times in the day and at inconsistent intervals.
What else can I measure?
Weighing yourself with a scale is a great start for tracking your fitness progression, but it’s not always 100% conclusive. If, for example, you had lost fat but gained muscle, your weight might increase despite the fact that you are looking much better! Luckily, there are some other handy ways of keeping track of your progress that are well worth trying out.
Simple but effective, using an everyday tape measure is a great way of keeping track of your progress. Keeping track of your waist size is important to help prevent illnesses such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, whilst measuring your biceps will let you know just how effective those hours spent in the gym have been.
Your workouts are getting easier
This sounds obvious, but it’s true! If your workouts are getting easier, the likelihood is that you’re getting stronger and fitter. A good way of measuring your progress is to incorporate a benchmark workout into your monthly fitness routine. Whether it’s how many press-ups you can do in a given time or how long it takes you to run a 5k, fitness tests like this will give you a good reference point.
Because all of our bodies are different, simply weighing yourself doesn’t always give a true representation of your body’s health and fitness level. For a more accurate measurement, try using some gym scales to measure your body mass index (BMI). This takes you height and weight into account and produces a BMI figure which allows you to see whether you are a healthy weigh for your height.
We currently stock three BMI scales on Inscale UK:
More ways to measure fitness
There are more ways in which you can keep track of your fitness progress. Taking a picture of your body every month will help you visibly see the changes you are hoping to make, whilst the fit of your clothes will let you know of any changes in your size. It can also be beneficial to use a fitness tracker to log your workouts or a food tracker to see which food types you need to increase or decrease.
Reasons for weight change
Dieting and exercise are fundamental in influencing body weight, but don’t be fooled into thinking they are the only factors at play. The truth is there are many reasons as to why you may be changing weight unintentionally, or not changing when you are attempting to do so. Below is a list of some of the main reasons:
- Lack of sleep
- Underlying health issues such as cushing’s disease or depression
These won’t always affect everyone, but they’re useful to give you a better understanding of how our body weight works. If you do start to see excessive weight gain in a short period of time or begin losing weight too fast, the best thing to do is to see your doctor as soon as you can.
When should I weigh myself and how often?
To summarise, there are pros and cons of weighing yourself every day, just as there are pros and cons of weighing yourself weekly. The main thing is to find what works for you and focus less on the weighing daily vs. weekly argument. Weighing yourself once a month is only recommended if you’re not dieting, whilst not weighing yourself at all isn’t recommend full stop. The best time to weigh yourself is in the morning, although the most important thing is to do it consistently and routinely.
Please browse Inscale's selection of health and fitness scales for gyms, health centres and home use. We stock BMI scales, as well as instruments ideal for food portioning and supplement weighing. If you need any more information, please contact us on 01908972660 or Get In Touch.