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) . 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 .
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 . 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.
. Are Breaks in Daily Self-Weighing Associated with Weight Gain? http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0113164
. Linde, J.A., Jeffery, R.W., French, S.A. et al. ann. behav. med. (2005) 30: 210. doi:10.1207/s15324796abm3003_5
. Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal. http://advances.nutrition.org/content/5/2/188.full