Are you a once a week weigh-er or an every day weigh-er?
I hope you’re at least one or the other.
Multiple studies show that regular weighing increases your chances for success with both losing and maintaining weight.
I recommend once a week if you’re in weight loss mode.
It can be a fragile time and you’re more apt to see the results you crave if you give your body a little time.
For maintenance mode it can remain once a week or, if the inevitable fluctuations won’t freak you out, every day.
Weighing every day can desensitize you to the number on the scale while at the same time serves as an early alert to any gaining trends.
Lots of successful maintainers weigh every day.
Our ultimate goal with weighing is to determine how much fat we have on our bodies. We don’t really care how much our bones or muscles or skin weighs . . . we want to know how much fat we have or don’t.
That’s why controlling for as many variables as possible gives us the best shot at comparing apples to apples—then we can assume any change is fat loss or gain and we get the info we’re really after.*
For best results, weigh first thing in the morning, before breakfast or any intake. Wear nothing at all or at least the same thing each time.
But which day of the week is best? Does it matter?
Turns out it may!
A scientist out of Cornell and his team determined there’s a weekly pattern when it comes to weight (here’s the published study).
I don’t think it’ll surprise to you to learn that people generally weigh more after the weekend—on Sunday or Monday morning—and weigh least on Friday morning, ostensibly after compensating for the weekend splurge. This was especially true for people who were losing weight.
So if you’re weighing once a week and you want to compare your least weight to your least weight—weigh on Friday mornings.
If you want to compare your highest weekly weight to your highest—weigh on Monday mornings.
If you’re weighing every day—take this pattern into account as you’re deciding how to tweak your eating plan for the week.
* Water is the other thing, besides fat, that can fluctuate on a daily basis. Large daily gains or losses usually suggest water weight. If you have a big unexplained gain, see if you ate something salty the day before and watch for it to come down over the next several days. Knowing what you’ve been eating helps give your weights context.