How Often Should You Weigh Yourself?

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Imagine this: You decide it’s time to make a concerted effort to lose weight. You start exercising regularly and embark on a healthy eating plan. The time comes to check in on your progress, so you step on the scale for the moment of truth.

You haven’t lost any weight.

What do you do? Continue with the exercise and healthy eating plan? Throw in the towel, and go back to what you were doing before? Start restricting your eating even more as an effort to make weight loss happen faster?

These are all completely normal and reasonable reactions to a lack of success on the scale. Weight loss, maintenance or gain can be tricky to navigate. Put more plainly: The scale can be tricky to navigate.

Weight fluctuations are common because your weight is determined by a variety of factors. These include but are not limited to how hydrated you are, what you recently ate, your bathroom habits, the climate and your exercise routine. A few pounds of weight fluctuation here or there are usually not a result of fat gain but a result of your body doing exactly what it needs to do to regulate its physiological functions. So, how often should you weigh yourself? Whether your goal is maintenance, loss or gain, let’s talk about the scale.


READ MORE > 3 KEYS FOR WEIGHT LOSS YOU NEED TO KNOW


The very first question you need to ask yourself is: “Will weighing myself (daily, weekly, periodically, etc.) help me or harm me?” Since there’s no magic answer for how often to weigh yourself, figuring out what is helpful and motivating for you as an individual is how you decide.

DAILY WEIGH-INS

Many people find weighing in daily provides a sense of accountability and is helpful for having a good idea of where they are with their progress. For many, it helps to keep progress on track. If you’re able to look at the overall trend and not stress about the fluctuations, then by all means, weigh yourself daily.

Does a 0.4-pound weight gain sour your mood? Or, are you absolutely elated to see that you’re down 1 pound? If the daily weigh-ins powerfully affect your mood and behavior, then you might want to reconsider how often you weigh yourself. The number on the scale should not have the power to dictate your mood, the events of the day or your overall quality of life — it’s just a number.

WEEKLY WEIGH-INS

Weighing weekly can have its advantages — it allows you to track progress while still having six whole days to not focus on your weight.

For best results, pick a consistent day each week, and weigh yourself in the morning. Look for trends, but don’t get caught up in the minutiae. Recognize that it will take a few weeks to get a picture of where the trend is heading. This can be a good tool to help you feel accountable without making you ride the daily emotional roller coaster that is (or can be) the scale.

OCCASIONAL WEIGH-INS

Some people opt for the occasional weight check-in. People may do this at home or rely on the scale at the gym or doctor’s office to get an idea of where they are. People who opt for the occasional weigh-in often have alternative ways of identifying weight shifts, like the way their clothes fit or how strong they feel while exercising.

NEVER WEIGHING

There are many people out there who smash their scale and never look back. Some people find it helpful to focus on how they feel in their clothes, the balance of their meals and snacks and how they perform with their exercise rather than focusing on the number. This can be a valid way to approach health — there’s much more to health than a number on the scale!

If you are weighing yourself multiple times per day, stop! With rare exceptions, you should not weigh yourself more than once per day. Obsessing over a number on the scale can turn into a very problematic pattern that can disturb the peace and happiness in your life. If you decide to weigh yourself, the scale should be a tool that helps you, not harms you.

Overall, ask yourself about what is most helpful for you. For some, daily weigh-ins are the best route. For others, weighing less often is better for overall health. Each of us has different ways of experiencing things and inviting motivation and positivity into our lives. Find what works for you and stick to it!


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  • What works for one may not work for another… Find what works for you and stick with it. Great article. Gratitude for sharing!

    • KARLO

      Yas,every person is different!!!!

    • Nancy B.

      Came here to say the same thing!

    • GrimesGator

      Exactly Daisy–that’s what ive done after losing 174 lbs over a 5 1/2 year period without Surgery or useless drugs—ive kept it off for 2 years now, I know my little tricks and moves and I realize that I MUST stay focused on it for the rest of my life—for ME weighing every day gives me the edge on my enemy
      , maintaining a weight is much more tricky and complicated than losing it

      • MB

        You keep on weighing yourself everyday! Whatever works for you. I’ve lost 95 lbs over the last 2 years and am working hard at keeping it off. I weighed myself just about everyday for that time. Now I am trying to weigh myself only once a week. It’s good to know where you’re at and to stay on top of your goals.

        • wabbitsan

          I lost 45 pounds in 9 months, a few years back. When my dog died, I couldn’t bring myself to go to the walking and hiking trails we’d taken our dog on for years, and I regained 30 pounds in a couple of years. I’ve finally restarted exercising again, and the regained weight is coming off. Healthier diet, daily exercise, and I keep track of what I eat using an app to help me track calories, fiber, carbs, exercise, etc. It’s all helping. It was hard getting restarted, but after a couple of weeks, I now look forward to the exercise routine.

      • wabbitsan

        So you have made life changes, instead of focusing on the limiting terms of “diets”. That’s a very good attitude.

    • wabbitsan

      To me, what you said was much more positive and informative than the article itself. Thank you.

  • Sflow

    I weigh in every single day and log it. I take an average at the end of the week and see how it’s trending over the past few weeks. This gives me a pretty good picture on my progress, whether I’m trying to cut or trying to bulk up, and helps me adjust my daily caloric goals. I take my weight readings in the mornings as soon as I get out of bed.

    On the other hand, my girlfriend doesn’t seem to be able to stomach the daily fluctuations, so she chooses to go the “occasional” route with her weigh ins.

    So in the end, as the article states, whatever works for you.

  • Bruce Garner

    I weight myself daily in the morning before breakfast. I’m not worried about a few days with a slight increase – I learnt quickly that it happens from time to time for a number of reasons. Weekly didn’t work for me – I found for the first couple of days after I weighed myself I’d have a few naughty items because “I’d catch it up later in the week” by being extra good – never happened. With a daily weigh it stops that for me. Great article and I agree – whatever method works for you!

    • wabbitsan

      I don’t weigh myself after eating Chinese; the extra sodium causes water weight gain for a day or two. It always burns itself off.

  • Rasheed

    Also don’t forget about sodium intake. I weigh myself once a week and make sure the day before I weigh myself I keep a sodium intake of less than 2300mg. I noticed if I weigh myself a day after having a high sodium intake my weight goes up by 2-5 pounds due to the water retention.

    • wabbitsan

      Agreed, which is why I don’t weight myself for a couple of days after eating Chinese food.

  • Charlotte

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    Charlotte
    a few seconds ago
    Weighing daily can be negative for people with a history of eating disorders or obsessive tendencies. Normal fluctuations can really mess with your head and you may turn to extreme behaviors to counteract it. I know for me, weighing daily gave me a lot more anxiety. I pick Wednesday mornings (“Weigh-in Wednesday”) because it is equidistant from the weekends when I am more likely to indulge (I typically don’t go have a crazy meal on Tuesday nights know what I mean?). I find this gives me a truer reading of how I’m doing weight-wise and lessens my anxiety. As the article says, hydration and bowel movements will also effect this.

    • disqus_IhAuU5izE9

      Good points.

    • Laura

      I agree with Charlotte. I get so down weighing in daily when the number goes up or stays the same. Like recently I got so frustrated my fitness pal sent message ” you haven’t checked weight in 20days” lol I’m going to use weigh in Wednesday’s…love that!

      • GrimesGator

        as the lady above said—whatever works for you—find it and focus on it

    • wabbitsan

      I keep track of my diet, and when I know I am going to indulge, or the day after I indulge, I exercise longer to burn those extra calories before or just after the indulging. I don’t believe in completely denying myself the treats I love to eat, but I do make adjustments in how much or when I indulge, and compensate with extra exercise.

  • Leslie

    I weigh every day but only log a lower weight after it has stayed down for several days. Otherwise i get too disappointed with the track.

  • NC

    I weigh myself everyday, log my weight every week and check my trends at the end of the month. Daily keeps me in check some, weekly is the more realistic view and monthly shows me my progress and gives me direction for the future.

  • Publius

    I weigh in everyday. I track a 10 day average. I like knowing that I go up and down a pound or two within a couple of days. It keeps me careful. I am maintaining and as long as I am under 120 lbs, I am happy.

  • Kmace123

    I have been on this weightloss journey- for real- for 23 days straight. I log everything I eat without fail. I try to exercise everyday. FOR a straight 23 days I have stepped on the scale once a week- 206.8- no more no less- I have cut to sugar free coffee creamer; only water to drink and I know I am eating less than I was before because I am more conscious of it. I had a metabolic weight scan and it told me: I have the metabolic age of a 54 yr old woman – I am 39- and I have ZERO metabolism. I asked how do I jumpstart that? I was told always eat breakfast- I DO!!! I was told exercise more- I do at least 30 minutes a day. I was told drink more water- I do!!! I was told eat every two hours- I DO! Nothing. I even went to a different scale – the nurse at school- she said this scale is “totally accurate”……….guess what? 23 days in and 206.8………what gives?

    • cheerfulmind

      So I thought my main problem was my metabolism but it was tested as normal (I didn’t get an age like you did!). Even at 54 though a calorie deficit is effective.

      I got a FitBit and use a MyFitnessPal for calorie & nutrient logging. What I learned was, yes, I burn calories exercising but the rest of my day is very sedentary. Fitbit estimated I burned just 1,600 calories on some days (while my 63 year old, never-stop-moving mom, burns 3,000 calories and that before exercising). That information helped me be a little more active but since my desk job is what it is, I realized the reason I have to eat so much less than other people is

      • Dpoholsky

        Good write and totally true same for me, Cheerfulmind I use fitBit and My Fitness Pal also, down 12 in 30 days but what I realized (Kmace) thinking I was eating right was I was eating too much hidden sugar. My fitness pal tells you how much protein/ carbs and sugar (plus other things) and you will learn what not to eat or what you need to limit. Good luck and I enjoyed reading the posts!!

    • April R

      Don’t get discouraged. Be patient. You did not become 206.8 in 23 days, you will not lose weight in 23 days. Keep your diet consistent and exercise an hour a day. Life happens, and an hour a day sounds crazy-but as soon as you make it a part of your lifestyle you will see results. I alternate my exercise, weights one day and cardio the next. Weights are important for women as it can prevent osteoporosis. Changing your creamer to sugar free is not going to do much as there are additives in sugar free products that make you more addicted to sweets. December 17, 2013 I was 154 pounds @ 5’5. I am a mother of 4 boys, work full time, and go to school at the age of 36(now). 154 is my heaviest, I have a small frame. I knew I could not just be athletic/fit over night-so I worked on my nutrition and took my vitamins, and supplements. I did the squat challenge with a friend and lasted 17 days. With all that going on, I was scared of the scale-but I felt my stomach get tighter and my thighs getting stronger. I finally got rid of my fear and weighed in on day 25..I lost 5 pounds! I checked my measurements-I lost half an inch around my waist. That pushed me further-sticking with my nutrition and getting on the treadmill at a 3.0 pace and a 8 incline for a mile and a half every other day-I lost 2 pounds the next month. It was discouraging seeing only two pounds lost, but the constant compliments of people asking if I was losing weight kept me inspired. Fast forward to now, I weigh 137.8. I am not at my ideal weight of 125 yet and thinking of the time that passed (almost 3 years) is discouraging. But if you look at it as time being passed anyway and it’s a loss not a gain-it’s a win. You are winning now for not gaining! Chin up..you can do it!!!

    • ya_think_so

      Kmace
      Not sure what system you are using for weightloss but I have had weight problems all my life and about 10 years ago started following the updated South Beach Diet. It has a trendy sounding name but it was developed by a heart surgeon. It includes simple exercise techniques for enhancing your metabolism. And it definitely works if you stick with it. Once you start eating with this system it is a lifechanging event and will also prevent diabetes as you age.
      As for weighing, my system is to weigh myself at home, naked, always under the exact same time and conditions. For example, first thing in the morning after the first trip to the bathroom and before consuming any food or drink.
      This will take out a lot of the variables that can cause fluctuations.
      Another point is that if you drink alcohol this will have a big negative on your weight loss. The only time I gain weight now is when I drink…..To lose that weight I have to lay off the alcohol for a while.
      Good Luck

      • disqus_IhAuU5izE9

        I check my weight exactly as you do- it works and lets me know not only my weight but how certain meals and different workouts consistently affect me the next day.
        Add to this post to watch the carbs; I replace spaghetti and rice with zucchini or cauliflower. However I do occasionally have the real stuff bc I know it won’t hurt me every now and then and honestly life’s too short to never have pasta or rice 🙂

      • No Ones Business But Your Own

        I used to have the same problem and I am 38 years old. Have you tried beach body insanity? It’s hard and it took doing the whole program about 2 times. After that the body weight melts off. It’s definitely worth a shot.

    • disqus_IhAuU5izE9

      Watch starchy carbs like pasta and rice and bread, too. Eat more vegs and protein, keep drinking that water and give it time. Don’t give up, you and your health are worth it!

      Also, make sure you don’t have a thyroid problem. I discovered I have hypothyroidism, which is an underactive thyroid. Among other things, it slows down my metabolism. The meds I now take have made a drastic difference to my energy level and ability to lose weight and maintain that loss.

    • SKB

      A scale that measures weight to the tenth like that should show some amount of variation. Have you had the scale itself checked, or tried weighing on a different scale for a week or so?

      • GrimesGator

        GOOD LUCK EVERYBODY___STAY WITH IT—-CLAIM YOUR LIFE—FIGHT FOR IT—THROW DOWN

  • Dyno08

    Kmace123 you probably already know weight loss is more or less a mathematical equation. Simply put, your calorie intake right now and for the last 23 days has been equally matched to your calorie output, hence your weight remains the same. To lose weight subtract 500 calories off your daily intake and you should start losing 1 pound per week. For a woman your age, size, and metabolic rate, 1500 calories per day would be a great goal and should get you losing. Are you already using a tracking ap like myfitnesspal, or livestrong? If not this can be a great help in giving you recommendations and recording. Also, one last thing, make sure you are getting enough protein. Aim for at least 20 grams of protein at every meal.

    • Michelle

      Look into the works of Dr. Jason Fung. His book, *The obesity code* will be a real eye opener for your calories in, calories out theory.

      As someone with pcos and insulin resistance the in/out theory does nothing for 1 in 8 women

  • cheerfulmind

    LOL! I switched from daily to occasional weigh-ins…I gained 15 lbs without realizing it. It’s cool. It can be rectified. But some of us have to be obsessive on the scale because cues like clothes fitting don’t register well–I honestly thought it was just freshly laundered tightness, a little monthly bloating (TMI?) or that I’d been having muffin top and just didn’t realize it before! What an idiot am I?

    I’ve done this years ago but never again will I go more than a week without checking in to make sure I’m not creeping up.

  • GrimesGator

    I weigh every single day—have for over 5 years, I believe in knowing where I am and what I’m doing–when I’m winning the battle and when I’m losing it—6 years ago I weighed 402 lbs–today 228

    • Fresh1413

      Congrats. Happy to hear that keep up the great work

    • Carolyn Brack-Jackson

      Congratulations, Grimesgator, so proud of you!I weigh myself daily, it helps me keep everything in line, When I stop my weight goes somewhat haywire, helps keep me accountable to my self!

      • Teegee

        That is amazing I weigh myself every day too and I have lost 24 pounds in 2 months with changing my diet and exercise twice a day how you choose to weigh yourself is totally up to the individual.

        • Carolyn Brack-Jackson

          Not so amazing, Teegee, you have to do what works for you! This tool holds me accountable, keeps me in the real!

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    • Gutag

      This seems obessive and idolistic to do this daily

      • Ceci Yager

        And you seem negative and annoying. Obviously, this strategy works for her since she’s lost almost 200 pounds! What works for her might not be your preference but your comment was entirely unnecessary.

      • wabbitsan

        Unnecessarily rude comment.

    • LilMizMargi

      Congratulations!!!!! Great job!!!!!

    • wabbitsan

      Kudos! I’ll do a long distance victory dance for you on your hard work and success! Good for you!

  • disqus_22TjBs3dWs

    I have the best of both worlds. I step on the scales every day but I don’t put my glasses on so I can’t see the numbers! The value is recorded automatically via wireless to an online account and I look at the numbers once a week or less.

  • Rich Cook

    For me, daily weigh-ins reminds me to pay attention to my diet. I know exactly how much fluctuation is normal and I can see that there is a delay between “weight gain” and actual fat gain, as once per week I measure what I’m truly interested in, which is body fat. i do that with calipers.

  • Michael Barch

    depends. usually i can tell if im holding water or not in the mornings. So ill weigh myself in the morning and postworkout before I eat my postworkout meal in the evenings – lots of the times i weigh less in the evening after a long hard workout funny enough.

    • GrimesGator

      same here—a fluid pill sometimes removes as much as 3 or 4 lbs before noon

  • Bitemore Gfotwo

    I weigh every day, ever since I had heart surgery in June of 2010. At the time, I weighed 237 pounds, and the congestive heart failure was a wake-up call. While some of the weight was retained fluids, that accounted for only about 10 to 15 pounds. Diuretics and surgery fixed most of that. The rest was up to me. Now I’ll fast-forward to this morning. I weighed 130.6 on one scale, and 131.0 on the other scale. TWO scales, you ask? Yep: two scales. I accept the lower of the two readings (psychologically, it feels better), but on some days they read exactly the same. I weigh myself wearing only my undies… thus, variations are due only to all of those you mentioned in your article. I do take a diuretic twice a day, and in 2012 I began eating ONLY organic foods. In 2011 I got a Fitbit Ultra, which I use to this day, and I log everything I do and everything I eat. I’m trying to maintain my weight at 130, but 129 is okay, as is the occasional 131… but, mostly it seems to be stable at 130. For what it’s worth, organic foods are more filling and are more nutrient-dense than the masses of processed chemicals found in most supermarkets, making calorie-counting MUCH easier, and at between 1300 and 1400 calories a day, I never feel hungry. Oh, yes… I also use my treadmill, 1 hour almost every day. Exercise is crucial! Anyway, I do believe in weighing every day, at the same time of day, wearing the same clothing (or lack thereof) every day.

    • GrimesGator

      scales often jump around 2-3lbs, I usually weigh 3 or 4 times and jot down the average on my calender I keep on the fridge—EVERY DAY

      • wabbitsan

        Keep that battery in your scale replaced, too, if it uses a battery.

  • t decas

    When I first started making a concerted effort to lose weight, I weighed myself once every three weeks. Once I reached my goal weight, I changed to every two weeks. I found this works best for me and my obsessiveness.

  • I find the more often I weigh myself the easier it is for me to stay focused. I gain easily when I’m on vacation and not weighing in daily.

    • GrimesGator

      yes

  • Karin Elizabeth Packard

    After losing 152 lbs. I want to maintain that loss. I am careful what I eat, concentrating on protein and veggies. But I know its easy to slide back and I have a weight that should I hit that I know I have to cut down or rev up the exercise. Maintenance is not easy and I have been successful for over 2 years, almost 3. I weigh myself each morning. Weekly weigh ins would scare me. I would rather know if I have reached that highest number I allow myself (which fortunately I haven’t come within 3 pounds of it) right away and rectify the situation quickly. So daily it is for me! My office mate is the same size as I am and doesn’t own a scale so different people, different ways.

    • GrimesGator

      yes Mam—protein is your friend

  • Rachel Naomi

    I use to fluctuate like crazy and I recently found out I have gluten sensitivity so for many years my weight lost stalled just because of the gluten. So I’ve lost weight since becoming gluten free. I lose 1 to 2 pounds every week. I spontaneously check the scale. My weekly weigh in is on Friday, but sometimes I fluctuate or bloat do to gluten. So I check during the week occasionally as well. I’ve lost 16 pounds in the last 2 months compared to the last 2 years of no weight loss what so ever until I went gluten free. I consistently did workouts like zumba and things similar to insanity and always dieting for several months straight. Without any weight loss because some healthy things I ate had gluten in it. Who knew? But now I also use a measurement chart and tape while I weigh myself since the scale can fluctuate just to make sure I’m on track because of the symptoms of bloating that can come with accidental consumption of gluten. I also go buy my progress pictures I take with the myfitnesspal progress on the app

  • I’ve been weighing myself at the gym once a week for 4 weeks now. I was/am determined to get healthier, and that is my main goal, but I know that the scales going down is a result of good habits. Over the last 4 weeks I’ve lost 10 lbs. Not a lot, but I feel better overall. I keep a food diary that shows how many carbs, calories, protein and such I’m consuming. When my husband’s trainer suggested we use an app after looking at the hand written diary, she told me I wasn’t eating enough. I’ve made the changes she suggested and feel better, feel more like working out, and have a better attitude. That was also 4 weeks ago. My first goal was the 10 lbs as far as the weight goal. It’s all to get my blood pressure down and hopefully help with my asthma. I used to do a lot of running and hope to enter my first 5K next year.

  • angelbelle63086

    The scale can be a great tool in the beginning of your journey, but it should not have the final say. Your weight will fluctuate like the article says, but you should get to know what causes that in you. If you are serious about changing your life, keep a record of EVERYTHING. Taking pictures, keeping a journal, taking measurements, and weighing yourself regularly will help you learn more about what your body needs. Once you are comfortable in your routine, ease back to weekly or even monthly. Let the results be a pleasant surprise. The most important thing to remember is that you should be making sustainable choices in your diet and exercise routine. It’s your only body, figure out what’s best for it.

  • vcize

    So according to the article, how often you should weight yourself is….however often you want to. Enlightening.

  • La Bandita

    Daily weigh ins for me. Because of it I realized vacation weight gain can be about 5pds – sometimes I lose 2pds from all the activities. Holiday weight gain 5pds, going out after work 2.5 pds, period 2.5 to 5pds. I am not trying to loose weight as I am thin, but I haven’t gained a pound in 15yrs.

  • The Kaiminator

    For a measurement like weight that fluctuates all the time, it’s important to get a lot more measurements in order to filter out outliers and see the trend. I will always recommend weighing every day.

  • John Howbowtit

    is there a app to forcast what your weight should be with your meal activity chart

    • Mary

      John, I found that if I log ALL of the food I eat on MFP there is a button on the bottom of the daily diary that allows you to complete your daily log and this shows you what your forecast would be if you behaved the same as that day (diet & exercise) in 5 weeks.

      • John Howbowtit

        i mean a forcast of your weight for the calories you ate for whatever how many days according to your average weight projection, most people eat different each day!

  • Runner dude

    Weighing every day is the way for me. I throw the data into a spreadsheet and track the weekly rolling average. This takes out the spikes and shows the trend. The hard part is waiting to declare victory on a goal until the rolling average catches up with the trend.

  • Kylee

    I’m obsessed with weigh ins. I weight 3 times a day, with logging my morning weight daily. Having lost the weight I wanted to loose, being new to maintenance, my primary concern is loosing muscle tone and gaining fat again so with the weight still going down means I might need to eat more and more resistance training before the end of the day otherwise I would be alot lighter.

  • Jenn Young

    I started eating properly and exercising 3 weeks ago. My plan is to not weigh myself until the 6 month mark.

  • cathyf

    When you have “noisy” data, the only way to tease out the signal from the noise is to have lots of data. I weigh myself every day, and so I know what range I’m supposed to be in, and can take action accordingly if I’m not. After 2 years, 125lbs, stable for the last 8 months, I can tell what’s the real underlying weight underneath whatever the number is.

    A REAL weight gain or loss of 5 lbs is 17,500 calories, and I sure would want to know what was going on before I was that deep in the hole!

  • liz

    I have had a weight problem my entire life. Was at weight watchers in high school. I was so depressed each week at weigh in when my weight had not budged or gone up a half or pound. Others were loosing and getting a standing ovation. At week 3 and keep in mind at age 15, 3 weeks is a LONG TIME I weighed in and had lost over 10 pounds. I was walking around school and someone said, you have a huge smile on your face today, whats up ? I told them I finally had shed a few lbs.

  • Fred

    I am overweight and weigh every morning. I also have high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes and, I check them, too, every morning. Strange to me that my weighing daily is an issue. I’ve never had anyone tell me that I shouldn’t check my blood pressure or blood sugar every day.

    • Carolyn Brack-Jackson

      Fred, you get it, it’s precisely the same thing!

  • Patrick Cox

    I weigh every day and it’s good and bad. I don’t get how I am 152 on Monday and 155 on Tuesday and then back to 151 on Wednesday. One year ago I was around 218lbs. I am down to 152-155.

  • Steven Gullion

    You should weight every day, regardless of your personal psychological makeup, and here’s why:

    One of the most fundamental principles of human or animal psychology is the principle of random reinforcement. The classic experiment goes like this: Rat A is put in a cage with a red button. Every time he pushes the button, he gets a food pellet. Rat B is put in an identical cage, but when he pushes the red button, nothing ever happens. Rat C is also put in a cage with a red button, but when Rat C pushes the button, sometimes he gets a pellet and sometimes he doesn’t. The reward is random.

    Which rat pushes the button the most insistently? Rat C. Rat A learns that the food will always be there and he loses interest except when hungry. Rat B obviously has no incentive to push the button. But Rat C will push the button almost constantly. The uncertainty boosts the psychic reward the rat feels when it “wins”; it produces the same rush that a gambler feels after a winning roll of the dice, and that rush is more important than the pellet.

    Similarly, weighing every day produces results that, although technically not random, can feel random. One day you fast and gain weight; another day you indulge and lose weight. If you lose steadily every day, the process becomes boring, but the pseudo-randomness of daily weigh-ins will motivate you to stay on a program for the thrill you feel on the days when you do lose a couple of pounds.

  • Prof_Turby

    I weigh every day. I am compulsive about it. I have fought weight my whole life. Years of diets, years of gaining and losing. I am compulsive. At my highest about 5 years ago or so I topped the scales at 398.6. Lost down to around 320 and kept it there for about 4 years. Needing a hip and knee replacement and at 56 years of age I had to change. I’m down to 255 and will have surgery in February. I need to lose more. I will. I have no choice.

    I don’t disparage folks that weigh once a week but for someone like me that has fought weight his entire life it is a daily thing. Hopefully I can eventually get down to my goal weight and reduce the weigh ins to twice a week or so. But until then it’s a daily deal.

    • Carolyn Brack-Jackson

      My struggle has been lifelong also, so weighing daily is a tool that keeps me on the up and up! I don’t think daily weigh ins crazy or obsessive merely a tool to help manage my weight. Used to weigh 294 now weigh 236 and continue on a downward trend.

  • Talya Solomon

    I weigh myeself first thing each morning . For every pound under my target I give myeself an extra hundred calories and take away a hundred for every pound over . I agree that its not a perfect measure of progress but it is very effective for me . It motivates me to move more so I can hopefully eat more and keeps me on track !

  • Deborah Flint

    hello is it best to weigh yourself with all clothes off or on? and whats the best scale to weigh on? i have an arm and digital one, arm says i lost n digital one is always 5-6 pounds more.

    • Pat68

      I weigh with no or very little clothes on (like just underwear or pajama top). I think clothes only add about about a pound.

    • wabbitsan

      Like pat68 says, very little or no clothes, and NEVER wear your shoes when you weigh yourself, even at the doctor’s office.

      • Pat68

        Yep. Just had a health check here at work today and took my shoes off. Fully clothed, I was 2 pounds heavier than when I weighed a week ago.

        • wabbitsan

          It may be temporary. Regarding your scales, do you know if they are properly calibrated? Some need to be calibrated, others not.

          • Pat68

            Not sure; I’d have to check. They’re digital. But I have placed the scale in different areas of different rooms where I knew the floor was level and each time the weight is the same. I’m not really concerned about a two pound difference. I figure at least a half to one pound of that was due to my clothes.

  • Bucko

    This Blog poses the question, and then fails to answer it. Which should you do? Daily, weekly, occsionally or never? The answer, all can be effective. That does not address the question. If I asked, do they all work? This blog would then apply. So frustrating.

  • Philip Holman

    Almost everyday. My “problem” is in maintaining my racing weight @ 160 lb. A lifestyle of correcting the daily balance of food in versus calories burned is more successful that corrections over longer cycles, weeks, months, years or even decades.

  • Peter Denny

    i am not a fan of daily weigh-ins. However if you do those you should record it every day and then divide by seven to get the average. Personally the occasional is fine for me but Ive never been overweight either so I really dont care that much what it is. It changes a few pounds either way on a regular basis based on when etc.

  • Pat68

    I weight myself about once a month because psychologically, I don’t want to deal with discouragement if there is an upward fluctuation. I generally wait for when it feels like I’ve maybe lost some weight (looseness of clothes or body changes) to weigh myself. If in a month’s time there’s an upward fluctuation, I can deal with that better than doing it daily. So far, I’m down 22 pounds since September.

  • wabbitsan

    This wasn’t really a helpful article.

  • Lisa Hamilton

    I weigh myself Mondays and Fridays. It seems to work you me.

  • Ruth

    Weigh myself every week on a friday. I have lost 37 lbs since mid-July, 2016 – it seems to be working for me.

  • Kristian Comeaux

    I am 6 weeks into doing the Jenny Craig program, and even though I weigh in once a week at the JC center, I also weigh myself once a day every morning.; for me I think it gives me the confidence to continue with my weight loss journey.

  • MsRarity

    What works for me is 2+x/day, morning and night, I have been doing this since I for the last 20 years. I like to verify that I’m properly hydrated by more than just my trips to the restroom.

    I get told I’m crazy, but my weight loss has been steady and proves that what I’m doing works for me. I have gone from a size 28 to a 13, and so far lost ~60 lbs in the last 5 months. According to my doctor, I’m doing everything perfect, including my “overly obsessive” daily weighing.

    Please don’t assume you know what works for absolutely everyone when you write an article.

  • Alphadiv

    I always say….The most dangerous and ominous machine in the Gym is Weighing Scale.
    Weighed myself a week ago and I was so dejected that I just ate a lot under depression.. ..i had not lost even half a pound in a week plus time
    But I am still following this all in a hope when it says “You would weigh 81 KG in 5 weeks if you continue this routine”
    That’s a hope

    • Pat68

      Well, don’t forget, there’s a few factors that come into play, particularly if you’re following a routine. You could be retaining water, maybe gaining muscle which weighs more, hormonal changes, etc. Keep up your routine and you should see results. If not, you may have to vary things up. That’s what got me to join a gym. I’d lost 23 pounds on my own, but then hit a plateau and knew I needed something else to rev up my weight loss.

  • Terrantino

    GrimeGator,you are an inspiration to anyone that wants/needs to lose weight,fantastic,well done.

  • Alexandria Ellison

    Too many issues with stressing over my weight when I check monthly as it is. I went weekly for a bit, but I think I’m going to stay monthly for now. If I have consistent weight gain that’s fat and not muscle then I’ll re-address it.