No matter your fitness goal, keeping track of your progress is critical.
The popular saying you cannot improve what you cannot measure rings particularly true.
If your goal is to lose weight, one way to check your progress is to measure how much you weigh.
It’s often not a fun process to face your weight in a proverbial eye-to-eye way. But it’s important. Even necessary.
Weight loss and checking your weight
A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found a link between weight monitoring and weight loss.
Turns out that you’re more likely to maintain weight loss if you regularly check your weight.
One of the most common ways to check your weight is to use a scale. You hop on, and you hop off.
It couldn’t be easier than that. But is it?
When is the best time to hop on a scale to weigh yourself? Should you check your weight in the morning? Or afternoon is better? How many times should you check your weight?
These are all great questions that could make a simple act look complex and even more intimidating than it already is.
So in this article, let’s take a look at the answers to some of these questions.
What is the best time of day to check your weight?
The best time to weigh yourself is when you’re able to cut out other factors that can skew your weight.
This tends to be right after you wake up when you’re done using the bathroom.
I like to weigh myself naked or with as little clothes as possible. In general, clothing doesn’t add much to the weight. But the compulsive part of my brain wants the weight close to “body” weight as possible.
You realize I didn’t say morning.
The reason is some people have different work or shift schedules. And they might start their workdays at different times. Morning looks different for them.
If you wake in the morning, then weigh yourself in the morning – that’s the best time.
If you’re for example a health worker who sleeps during the day and work at night, weigh yourself when you wake up in the evening.
In general, weighing yourself, right after you wake up is ideal.
This is because if you wait during your waking hours, your bodyweight could fluctuate dramatically. Especially based on your intake of water or other fluids.
Should I check my weight after exercise?
Hydration during exercises can lead to inaccurate weight numbers.
Keep in mind during any good exercises like a full-body workout, you’re not only sweating and losing bodily fluids.
Should I weigh myself at the same time?
Yes, you should look to check your weight at the same time at a regular interval.
If your goal is to lose weight, don’t get too obsessive. It doesn’t help to weigh yourself compulsively several times in a day or every day.
Consider weighing yourself once a week, at around the same time right after you wake up.
This will help give you a comparable and useful measurement. The key is to be consistent.
Why does your weight fluctuate so quickly?
Look, we are not robots. The human body is a complex organism that comprises of bones and tissues and organs and (wait for it) water.
A lot of water. About 60 percent of the body weight of a human adult comes from water.
So if you’re drinking enough water during the day, that’ll impact your weight. And even more impactful if you’re passing out water through urine as you should.
In that case, it’s likely your weight might vary from hour to hour. And that’s OK. Don’t worry. No, you’re not going crazy.
How many times a week should you check your weight?
The National Weight Control Registry did a study. They found that around 75 percent of people who lose weight and stop weight gain weigh themselves at least once a week.
Checking your weight once a week is also practical.
It takes away the stress of trying to lose weight. And helps you shift focus to the simple and healthy habits that can help in the long-term.
Remember that we all have different body types. In the same way, the best time to weigh yourself will vary too.
And it’s okay to understand your body type and love your body, even as you continue to work toward the weight you want.
As an example, assume that you have a mesomorphic body type. This means you have a natural larger body frame.
It doesn’t make sense for you to compare yourself with an ectomorph. An ectomorph is more likely to have a leaner muscle and body frame.
Avoid comparison with photoshopped models. Or people you see on social media who may have completely different body types from you. Love your body and also embrace the challenge to be the better version of yourself.