ExercisePhysical

Should You Weigh Yourself?

Lauren Michelle702 views

You can probably find a million and one articles on why you should not weigh yourself. I’m about to tell you the complete opposite: you SHOULD weigh yourself.

There are multiple studies that show people who weigh themselves daily have either less weight gain or more weight loss than people who don’t weigh themselves as often (i.e: weighing in 2 times a week compared to 2 times a month) [1]. These studies show that weighing in daily is beneficial to those who are currently overweight and striving for a specific weight loss goal or trying to avoid weight gain [2].

If that is your current health status, then maybe weighing yourself every day could be best for you, or maybe start off one/twice a week to ease into it. This article is focusing more on the individual who is not sedentary, lives an active, healthy, and fit lifestyle (i.e: works out/lifts 3 times a week, looking to lose weight but gain muscle mass, and has a healthy diet).

I’m about to dive into 4 reasons why you should be weighing yourself consistently throughout your fitness journey. Let’s get crackin’:

  • Improves self-awareness: You become aware of your daily food intake, your sleep patterns, and stress levels. Regarding food, the more sodium intake you have in your caloric diet, the more water your body is going to retain. Consume less sodium and your body will retain less water. Sodium comes from foods naturally and most from processed foods. Foods naturally low in sodium are fruit, vegetables, oils, and cereals, while meat and fish contain a bit more [3]. How much alcohol are you consuming? Alcohol leads to dehydration = water retention. You could also see how your daily sleep patterns affect your weigh-in. Did you know too little sleep can increase your cravings (I know I’m not the only one who eats more and more the later I stay up)? You’ll also become aware how stress becomes a factor (are you a stress eater?).

 

  • A change of perception: Let’s get real, there’s a misconception of linking fear to weighing yourself. Watching the needle on the scale creep up is one of the things people worry about the most. Weighing yourself and knowing how to deal with the number you see and analyze it is a huge key to success in your progress. If you’re not working out properly and trying to gain more muscle but seeing yourself losing weight, then you can calculate what you’re lacking (i.e: not consuming enough protein to keep your muscles regenerating and growing). If you see yourself gaining weight when you are trying to hit a lower goal, you have to understand that muscle weighs more than fat, so this scale increase (if not too large) could be telling you that you’re gaining more muscle! And if you know a thing or two about fitness, then you’d know that the more muscle you have the more fat your can burn! (you can find my article on The Power of Perception here!)

 

  • Understand it’s just a number – Yep, I went there. It’s just a number, y’all! A number that can’t dictate how you should feel about your body. Do you feel like you’re making progress? No longer feeling fatigued and tight in your clothes? Can you now run 10 minutes longer than before? When you’re in a routine that pushes you to your limits, while still having control with correct nutrition and plenty of time for recovery, then what power does the scale have over you (unless you’re competing)? Fitness isn’t just about physical strength, it’s a mental challenge as well. There is no such thing as feeling good about yourself because of the number on the scale. You have to learn to love yourself first before you try and love the number on the scale.

 

  • The number on the scale will never stay 100% the same: (unless you’re Houdini): Weight, in general, is not a static number (this relates back to the first point!!). It’s going to fluctuate based on your Of course, if the numbers begin to vary by a mass amount, then this is something you should take a deeper look into and make sure that you are sticking to your routine, eating right, and becoming healthier instead of falling off track (get an accountability partner to help you with this!).

 

Since I am no doctor, I am not going to advise you to weigh yourself a certain amount of times a week, but I do think weighing yourself can have many benefits in your fitness journey if you allow it to, overcome the fear of what your body is telling you, and fight the negatives of the mind. If weight loss is your goal, then sure, weigh yourself according to the researchers. Personally, I find myself to better track my progress through a weekly weigh in. I know people who track it twice a week or even every two weeks. Weighing yourself isn’t all that bad, as long as you find what works for you, you are able to overcome that little devil on your shoulder, and are ready to make serious gainzzzz.

[1]. Are Breaks in Daily Self-Weighing Associated with Weight Gain? http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0113164

[2]. Linde, J.A., Jeffery, R.W., French, S.A. et al. ann. behav. med. (2005) 30: 210. doi:10.1207/s15324796abm3003_5

[3]. Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal. http://advances.nutrition.org/content/5/2/188.full

27 Comments

  1. THE ONLY time anyone should ever weigh themselves is if it’s for health reasons (trying to lose weight, etc) – otherwise, I see absolutely NO POINT because a lot of people get addicted to the numbers and they let the numbers DICTATE their moods.

    1. GiGi, I see your point here! That’s why I state weighing yourself is something that can teach you to change your perception if you allow it to (in a beneficial way of course). If someone cannot change their perception of the numbers on the scale and become overly obsessed with them, then I definitely recommend to take some time away from the scale until they can change it into a healthy habit.

  2. As someone who had to be weighed daily for medical purposes, I do agree that frequent weigh-ins can allow you the ability to really learn about the patterns of your own body. From a fitness or weight loss perspective, I think people just need to find what works for them. Thanks for writing!

  3. I definitely agree with certain points here. It is important to keep track of your weight – not only for weight loss reasons, but also for health reasons. Quick gains along with certain puffiness can indicate health problems, or worsening of certain health problems – as can quick loss. And you’re right about it being a great way to maintain honest self-awareness as well.

    Although for some people, weighing too often can be discouraging or even become an obsession that leads to extremely unhealthy behaviors. For me, I don’t weigh myself often at all – I find that I can be going along really well, keeping up healthy habits, feeling great, looking better, standing taller … then weigh myself and end up so discouraged I just give up. And I know I’m not the only one like that, either. So for me, I go by the fit of my clothing, the quality of my sleep, what I feel like on a daily basis, the way my rings and my Misfit (fitness tracker) are fitting. These things work for me in a much better way – achieving the same general objective WITHOUT becoming unhealthy.

    1. Brandi, thank you for your feedback.
      This is why I address the topic of “changing your perception” when it comes to weighing yourself. The numbers on the scale may not be what you wish them to be, but if you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle and you see the number stay the same or go up, it may because of a muscle increase! It’s something that we have to take the time to learn with our bodies to not get discouraged and use it to make ourselves better mentally and physically.

      Ofcourse you are not alone!! I used to be like that before I started my fitness journey and in the beginning. It’s been three to four years later and I am now able to understand that the number on the scale does not identify who I am, it is just there to help me regulate and understand my body.

      The other options to measuring your goal are exactly what you spoke about: seeing how your clothes fit, how you feel going to sleep at night and waking up in the morning, and overall staying healthy!

  4. Gaining information like keeping track of your weight is gaining stats so you can measure your progress. I totally agree that if your goal is weight management you should step on a scale.

  5. I probably weight myself too many times per day – but I like to see the difference between my weight in the afternoon and then right before I go to bed, and then think about why it’s up as much. I don’t know if that sounds cray. I used to beat myself up about the number, but over the last few months I’ve been exercising a lot more and started doing strength training, so I know that even if my weight is stagnant it’s because I’m building muscle. Thank you for this post! It’s nice to find some validation for weighting in more frequently.

  6. I think weight is a number that can help us to understand our body. But beeing just a number also means it’s relative and doesn’t have to influence the perception we have of ourselves, because it can easily change for many causes!

  7. I’ve heard both sides. Weigh every day and only weigh once every few months. I think it depends on what you benefit the most from! If seeing the scale go up is going to discourage you from pushing further, it’s important to focus on the whole ‘just a number’ thing! Great post!

  8. Interesting reasons. Clear and well written article… I don’t know that I’ll be rushing out to buy a scale right this second, but I’ll certainly keep these points in mind in the future. Thank you for taking the time to write them out and share.

    1. Elizabeth,
      Thank you! I try to write about the things that many people tend to push off to the side or have a bad stigma to them and change their way of thinking through research and open mind.

  9. I think it’s perfectly fine to check your weight. It keeps you on track of how much weight you’ve lost or gained. I don’t mind it at all.

  10. I think it’s more motivating to check your weight and see how you’re progressing. I don’t really get why people choose not to check it. It’s perfectly fine especially if you’re following a strict regimen.

  11. Many people say I am lucky that I don’t have to go on a diet to keep me in shape because I am petite and no matter how much I eat everyday I stay that way. But eventhough I don’t get fat, I watch what I eat and I try to exercise even twice a week.

    1. Claire, I’m glad to hear that you still up to date with your body and keep it in check! Even though people may have a petite and thin figure, does not always mean they are healthy!

  12. I weigh myself everyday in the hopes I lost some weight. I really am out of shape but never been the one to enjoy working out. I do like it as a stress reliever and it increases my energy just hate putting a bra on. :’)

  13. I agree, When I don;t weigh myself I get too comfortable. I need the constant affirmation that was I am doing is working or not.

  14. I haven’t weighed myself in so many years. I can tell I put on a few pounds though and I need to weigh myself to get on the right track to shed the weight I’ve put on.

  15. I found this blog post to be very helpful. I am attempting to better my body and I will keep this information in mind.

  16. Thank you for this post! I come from a very overweight family, so I have always been overly body conscious. Weighing myself every morning gives me a reality check – sometimes, reassurance; other times a heads up that I need to have a better day. I believe staying on top of it in a HEALTHY was with realistic expectations is the best way to go.

  17. I completely agree with everything you’ve written here. I weigh myself regularly to keep myself in check. I’m looking to lose weight but gain muscle, and I workout/lift six days a week. Love it. 🙂

  18. I don’t weigh myself but that stems from having an eating disorder in my early twenties (I am now approaching the big 30 and fully recovered) I am always scared that I will slip back into old habits and to that end my husband won’t let me have scales in the house. I think not weighing myself is probably best for me.

    1. Fiona, thank you for the response.
      I am glad to hear that you are taking the precautions that you feel are necessary and healthy because of the eating disorder you had when you were younger. I am so STOKED to hear that this is not something you struggle with now, and there are always other ways to measure your health when on a fitness journey!

Comments are closed.

Join the Souled on T.E.A Newsletter
Get the latest in Traveling, Exercise, and À la carte!
We respect your privacy.