In this quick article you and I are going to talk about how often should you weigh yourself.
There are so many varying opinions on this topic.
Some people are going to tell you to only weigh in once a week.
Other people are going to tell you to weigh in everyday.
Others (maybe yourself) will tell you to never step on the scale and smash it with a sledgehammer.
While everyone is different and I can’t tell you for certain what you should do for yourself, I can give you one mans point of view.
My point of view that I have seen coaching thousands of clients by this point.
By the end of this you will have gained the knowledge to know the answer to how often should you weigh yourself.
Just be sure to read not to skim or skip ahead. If you read one thing in it’s entirety today, make it this.
Deal? Pinky promise?
Good, you can’t break that now. Let’s get into it.
How Often Should You Weigh Yourself
Let’s Start With This
Before I go into any specifics, I need to lay this ground work first and foremost.
Let me make this very clear.
Whether you weigh yourself everyday, every week, every month, every 6 hours (please don’t do that).
Your weight is never going to stay the exact same.
It is going to fluctuate. It is going to fluctuate up, down, side to side, do the salsa dance.
Your weight is gong to fluctuate.
Yes, even if you are 100% perfect on your diet, it is still going to fluctuate then.
Why is this?
How can this be if you are freaking perfect on your diet but the scale still spikes up! Grr!!
Well, a few reasons.
Just a few are here below.
- Had more carbs
- Had more sodium
- Females time of the month
- Hard workout the day before
- Gotta use the bathroom
And about 10 others.
If you want to learn and understand why your weight is going to forever fluctuate, you can head HERE as I did an entire video explaining the reasons why your weight is going to fluctuate.
Yet you first have to understand that before anything else when answering the question of how often should you weigh yourself.
You aren’t necessarily doing anything wrong if your weight spiked up from the last time you weighed in.
So don’t beat yourself up or think you are a failure, okay? (Yea I know you needed to hear that!).
Also, Remember This
I know you know this, but I am going to say it again.
The scale is not the end all be all.
It can be one fickle son of a gun for so many reasons, but even beyond that, it doesn’t tell you the whole story.
Let’s say for example you are exercising and lifting weights.
We can also presume you are in a calorie deficit and losing body fat because the only way to be lose body fat is to be in a calorie deficit, right?
Which btw, if you need to know how many calories to eat to lose body fat, you can check that out HERE . I have a totally free calculator.
This means you very well could be achieving something called body recomposition. Which essentially just means you are losing fat and building muscle at the same time..
Phenomenal right? Exactly what you wanted, right?
Yet here is the deal, 1lb of muscle weighs the same as 1lb of fat.
Muscle does not “weigh more than fat”. No.
Just like 1lb of feathers weighs the same as 1lb of bricks. They both weigh 1lb, the composition is different.
Same concept there.
Let’s say you lose 3lbs of fat but gain 3lbs of muscle.
Guess what honey bunches of oats. That scale isn’t going to go down even though you lost 3lbs of body fat.
What will happen though is your body will look tremendously different and your clothes will fit differently.
Why? Because muscle is more dense than fat, which means it takes up less space on your body.
Therefore in a situation like this, you very well could be losing body fat, seeing insanely good progress, and the scale wouldn’t show that.
Which happens all the time by the way. This may even be you right now!
This is why I make my clients not only take their bodyweight, but also take measurements every 2 weeks and progress pictures every 4 weeks.
We can have a surefire way to know if they are making progress beyond just what the number on the scale says.
Remember, the scale is just one piece of data, which leads me into the answer to how often should you weigh yourself.
How Often Should You Weigh Yourself? The Truth
Alright so here is the deal.
I know we said some people tell you to weigh in once a week, once a month, or throw the scale out the window.
Here is what I have every single one of my online coaching clients do.
We weigh in every single morning on an empty stomach after they use the restroom before they eat or drink anything.
This shows their true bodyweight for that morning minus any extraneous fluids that need to be excreted.
Now, you might be freaking the hell out thinking “everyday Eric, really?! Isn’t that a bit obsessive?!”
I mean I did just basically say the scale is fickle and won’t show the whole story.
Let me explain why I am an advocate for weighing in every single morning.
It’s Just Data
The first and most important reason when it comes to weighing in everyday is the simple fact that the scale is just data.
Nothing more, nothing less.
It is one piece of data that you can use in your journey to see trends and know if you are heading in the right direction.
What it is not is it is not your entire self worth. The scale holds no value to who you are as a person, or a parent, or a friend.
It is just a piece of plastic with a number on it. That’s it.
We talked above about how it isn’t even the most accurate or trustworthy piece of data because it won’t tell the whole picture and it is going to fluctuate a ton.
Yet, it is still one piece of data. Therefore I believe the more data points you can get, the better.
Let me paint this picture.
Let’s say you are a manager of a clothing retail store in the mall.
The goal of the store is to make money, right?
Let’s say you get to the end of the month and you need to determine whether the store made money or lost money.
What are you going to do?
Are you going to pick 1 day out of each week and pick the sales from that day to see if you are making money?
What if one day was a holiday and the store was closed?
Or one day was incredibly busy because it was a sunny weekend, but the other day was incredibly slow because it was a rainy Tuesday night?
How about if the final day you had to close the store early due to a monkey being let loose in the mall (hey, things happen, idk!).
Those 4 days you picked are all kind of random, all over the place, and won’t really be able to draw any accurate conclusions from those.
As opposed to if you took the entire months worth of sales, got the average for the month, looked at the trend over the course of those 4 weeks.
You’d be able to see the overall trend of either up, down, or breaking even.
Yet if you only took 4 random days out of the month to look at the data, it wouldn’t be able to tell you the whole story. There is a lot of variability within the day to day.
You wouldn’t be able to see if you were trending up, down, or staying the same.
Your weight is the same thing.
If you only weigh in once a week, you won’t have enough data to see your overall trend.
One day you could have been down because you were sick as a dog and fluids were coming out both sides. Okay, you hit your “lowest” weight then, but you literally had nothing inside your body.
One day you might have come off a holiday weekend of drinking and eating some foods higher in carbs. Okay, your weight is going to be a bit up that day, but it is due to higher carbs and drinking.
Neither one of those show a true accurate depiction of your body weight trend over the course of time.
Weighing in once a week or once a month simply does not give you enough data points to be able to see a trend and come to an overall conclusion.
Therefore to get the most data possible and use it in your journey, I recommend weighing in every single day.
I am going to talk more about daily weigh ins and comparing them in a second, but first, let me throw this at you as well.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
Here is another reason why the answer to how often should you weigh yourself is everyday.
We just said your weight is going to fluctuate right, for so many reasons.
Let’s take two weekly weigh ins.
Monday , June 1st you weighed 202.6.
Monday, June 8th you weighed 203.5.
Well, clearly, you’d think you are gaining body fat.
You are doing everything wrong, what you are doing isn’t working, and you should probably just quit.
Now, let’s look at the actual daily weigh in over 7 days.
Monday June 1st – 202.6
Tuesday June 2nd – 202.3
Wed June 3rd – 201.8
Thursday June 4th – 202.0
Friday June 5th – 201.2
Saturday June 6th – 201.6
Sunday June 7th – 200.8
Monday June 8th – 203.5
What do you see here?
You see over the course of the week, your weight was actually trending down.
But, on Sunday night you went out to eat with your family for your kids birthday and you had a meal higher in sodium.
This caused you to retain some extra water weight and weigh in a bit heavier the next day.
If you weren’t taking your daily weigh ins, you never would have seen that the entire week you were actually trending down.
You would only see the Monday weigh in of 203.5 so you’d think you are gaining fat, when in reality, the scale just spiked up from some water weight.
Which, if you didn’t have those daily weigh ins, you’d probably quit and never reach your goals.
Yet if you saw that, you’d see you were trending in the right direction, and you would keep going.
This is another example of why weighing in daily can be massively beneficial.
Now, Remember This
When talking about daily weigh ins, you aren’t looking to compare your June 1st weigh in to your June 5th weigh in.
Again, that is not enough data to see if you are trending in the right direction. It’s been 4 f*cking days.
You want to get all of the data for a month, then compare it to the next month.
So you compare June 1st to July 1st. July 1st to August 1st. August 1st to September 1st.
You get all of this data, and you compare it over the months to notice a trend.
Like we said earlier, your weight is going to fluctuate, so do not compare it day to day.
That is where most people go wrong and it becomes this incredibly emotional thing.
Get the data, compare it over the month, and act on that.
Also, Talking About Emotions
I want to add one more thing as to why I am not the biggest fan of weekly weigh ins.
We have already seen that it gives you inaccurate data because it can fluctuate for so many reasons.
Yet on top of that, here is what I have seen coaching people who used to do weekly weigh ins, tell me if this sounds familiar.
Let’s say you weigh in on Monday.
After your weigh in Monday, you don’t have to weigh in for another week, so what do you do?
The same thing I did when my parents were out of town for a week, party baby!!
You binge on all of the chips, cookies, drinks, etc, because you know you ain’t weighing in anyway!
Then, when a few days before the weigh in rolls around, what happens?
“Ah sh*t… Okay.. gotta weigh in soon.. I want to see that number go down..”.
So, you restrict. You eat super low calories, only “clean” foods, no chocolate.
All so you can weigh in “lighter” on your weigh in.
This is what we call yo yo dieting, or the restrict – binge cycle.
You massively restrict for a few days, then massively binge for a few days.
This happens in perpetuity.
I have seen weekly weigh ins perpetuates this that much more because of the anxiety around only weighing in once a week.
Something to think about, again, just my two cents.
Even More About Emotions
Listen, I get it.
You want to see the number on the scale go down, who doesn’t?
You get pissed, frustrated, emotional when the number on the scale goes up, who doesn’t?
I am not telling you not to have emotions. We are humans, that is what makes us as such.
What I am saying though is, the more educated you are on the scale, the better you will be able to move from having an emotional response to a logical response.
Scale spiked up? Ah well I know I had more carbs last night and storing some extra water weight. All good.
Scale spiked up? I know it is my time of the month and I normally store some extra water weight then, it will go away when it is gone.
Scale spiked up? I am super sore from my workouts and I know that is a reason why my body might be holding some extra water weight.
** By the way, again, if you didn’t or don’t know these things, check out this video HERE to understand why the scale spikes up **.
Once you actually understand the scale, it helps move you from that emotional response to that logical response.
The quicker you can get to a logical response, the better.
Most people quit when they see their weight spike up. I want to show you something here below.
This is a chart of one of my online coaching clients Cynthia.
We have weighed in every single day for almost 9 months straight.
As you can clearly see, her weight is trending down over a period of time, right?
As you can also clearly see, there were periods of times where her weight spiked up.
She didn’t lose weight every single day. No one does, that’s insane.
But when those days came where her weight spiked up, she didn’t quit.
She kept pushing, she kept going, she never gave up.
Now she is able to be down 45 lbs, completely changing her body, and absolutely killing it.
She also doesn’t fear the scale anymore because she understands it.
She knows why it might spike up, as well as she knows if she sticks with it it will go right back down and continue trending down.
This leads me into my final point about daily weigh ins.
There is something called “exposure therapy”. This is basically the theory of if you are afraid of something, you have to expose yourself to it in order to truly overcome it.
For example if you were afraid of a spider (me!!) what would you do.
You would put a spider in a cage in the opposite room to the side of you.
Then you would bring the spider in the same room as you in the corner.
You would then move the spider closer.
Up next you would take it out of its cage.
Finally you would have it out of its cage and moved closer to you.
Over time and over time you would become more and more comfortable being around a spider, because you are getting exposed to it.
The same thing with the scale.
If you combine educating yourself about it, as well as exposing yourself to it, you will then be able to conquer it.
It won’t control your emotions anymore. You will be in control of your emotions, not some piece of plastic with a number on it.
How Often Should You Weigh Yourself : Final Thoughts
There you have it. One mans point of view of how often should you weigh yourself.
I will end it with this.
I touched on this a bit earlier but remember.
You are worth more than a number on the scale.
The scale doesn’t measure how great of a mother or father you are.
Nor does it tell you how amazing of a best friend you are.
It also doesn’t speak to how kind of a human being you are.
The scale does not define any part of you besides your weight, so don’t let it.
You are worth so much more to so many people than just a number on the scale.
Hope this helps.
If you want some extra help with your journey, you can head HERE to check out My Clubhouse.
I also did an entire YouTube video on this if you are a visual learner, I can link that here below.