If you are trying to lose weight, chances are you spend a lot of time on the scale. While it is definitely a good way to track your progress, it’s definitely not the only way. I talk about several other non-scale ways to track your progress in Today is Still the Day. However, hopping on the scale is one of the easiest ways to see immediately whether you are making progress or not. It makes a difference how you weigh yourself, so let me give you some tips for getting the most accurate information.
First of all, how often should you weigh? It depends on why you are weighing yourself. If you’re keeping track of your hydration level, you will want to weigh yourself before a workout and again after the workout and then drink 16 ounces of water for every pound lost.
I know people who weigh daily and get discouraged if the number fluctuates in the wrong direction. Then there are others who won’t go near a scale and have a real love-hate relationship with it. As I recommend in Today is Still the Day, if you’re tracking your weight loss progress, I recommend once a week at the most. Once every two weeks is fine too.
So first make sure your scale is properly calibrated and accurate. You want the most accurate reading possible. Otherwise, why bother? Then you will want to weigh at the same time, on the same day of the week. Your weight can fluctuate anywhere from 2 to 10 pounds over the course of a day, and you don’t want to mistake that for weight gain or loss.
I find the best time is first thing in the morning after using the bathroom and without any clothes on. While they don’t add a huge amount of weight, you are not trying to see how much your jeans and top or sneakers weigh. You want to know your body weight, so this is the most accurate way to get that number.
I don’t recommend weighing after working out because either you’ve hydrated while exercising and you can have water weight or you sweated and are dehydrated. Either way it will not be an accurate reading. Getting on the same scale first thing in the morning on the same day each week will give you the best picture of how your plan is working. And that’s the whole point of using the scale. Isn’t it?