Experts Debate: Should You Weigh Yourself Every Day?

Cassie Shortsleeve
by Cassie Shortsleeve
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Experts Debate: Should You Weigh Yourself Every Day?

While the number on the scale is not the end all be all measure of health, it is a factor of the health puzzle that can’t be overlooked: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.

The problem is even experts debate how often we should step on the scale and whether or not a daily weigh-in is a healthy or harmful habit. Below, two top weight-loss experts take a stand on either side.

About the Author

Cassie Shortsleeve
Cassie Shortsleeve

Cassie Shortsleeve is a Boston-based freelance writer and editor. She has worked on staff at both Shape and Men’s Health and contributes regularly to a slew of national print and digital publications such as Women’s Health, Condé Nast Traveler, and Furthermore for Equinox. With a degree in English and creative writing from the College of the Holy Cross, she has a passion for reporting on all things health, lifestyle, and travel.

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28 responses to “Experts Debate: Should You Weigh Yourself Every Day?”

  1. Avatar Teri Lynn Lingebach says:

    Um, just may want to assess the picture you’re using. I know that I’m seeing the mans left hand sticking out, but it sure could be mistaken for something else. Just FYI

  2. It doesn’t matter how often you weigh yourself but you need to do this daily. Thanks Cassie, for sharing the experts opinion on this topic. Maintaining healthy weight is very important to free from the risk of many health diseases like overweight or obese, diabetes, etc.

  3. I feel it depends on each person. Hubby gets upset if the scale goes up; I, on the other hand, will be kept on task….even if I gain, I will check what I ate and adjust for the better scale check. Usually it is water gain which I run into a lot…Once that is gone, I am back on track.

  4. Avatar Krinj says:

    Absolutely, there is a relationship each of us has with the scale. The ultimate decision rests upon how it works or doesn’t work for each person. While I don’t like waiting too long to monitor my progress, I find the daily weigh-ins a little too unreliable for showing the trend. Every few days seems to be the most predictable indicator of my overall progress.

    But again, it’s the combination of that data and how one responds to it emotionally. If little steps backward bring you down, maybe fewer weigh-ins is prudent. If those little bumps in the road serve to motivate you, daily weigh-ins may be an important key to your success.

  5. Avatar TRSmudge says:

    I do it every morning, everyday I am home. I know when I’ve had a bad eating day, or cheat day, and see it when I hop on it in the morning. I may workout a bit longer that day than usual, or cutback a little on what I eat. Either way, it’s helped me lose 90lbs in the last 2 years. So I’m all for it, but agree it can’t “weigh” on your mind as a negative either.

  6. Avatar Northstar Signs says:

    I weigh myself every morning. It is the only way that I can give myself immediate attention should I gain weight. Then I can nip it in the bud before it goes any further.

  7. Avatar Gina says:

    I’ve tried twice, three times a week, and daily, and I have found that daily is what works best for me now. This doesn’t cause me any stress; rather I am fascinated by the way my weight goes up one or two pounds, then back down again and I know it’s directly related to how many calories I ate the day before. (Yes, I also track everything I eat.)

  8. Avatar IMtehUber1337 says:

    For me, by weighting myself everyday, I was able to see how “badly” I had eaten over the weekend and what I need to do during the week to get myself back to where I should be. I am usually at 170 but have seen my weight flux to 175 after a weekend of bad eating. It took me 2 weeks to get back to 170 but at least I knew that damage that was done and knew what I needed to do.

    • Avatar jean hardesty says:

      Hope this isn’t intrusive as I used to do what you’ve described.

      Once I really comprehended that a pound gained really is equal to over-eating by 3500 calories, I realized a weekend of over-eating and gaining 5 pounds on my scale wasn’t as bad as 5 pounds X 3500 (17,500) calories.

      I probably surplused 3,500 … at the most. The 5-pound up (then down) weight shift was due to shifts in my weight due to intestinal bulk and fluids. I got into a bad weekend binge/weekday starve pattern.

      My sanity and healthy relationship with food were re-established once I weighed daily and RECORDED MY DAILY WEIGHTS so I could compute a weekly average weight.

      Good Luck! Dr. Hardesty, Ph.D.
      (Keeping off 50 pounds for ten years and weighing daily)

  9. Avatar Pat says:

    I’ve looked at the Fitbit scales and they look nice, but they are very expensive. I have a cheaper digital scales that seems to be very consistent. Then I plug the numbers into my free Fitbit app. It gives me the same moving average.

  10. Avatar James Denham says:

    I vote for daily. Wake up, potty break, then hit the scale – before drinking or eating. That’s what works for me 🙂

  11. Avatar Crun Hunt says:

    When I told others how I weigh myself everyday they talked bad about it like I was them. But no one helped me lose the weight I’ve lost now. That’s why I don’t worry about them,I weigh everyday, idk

  12. Avatar Jason Langdon says:

    Weighing daily and looking at a 7-14 average is a much better way to determine weight loss then weighing every day and tracking that. You can’t actually gain or lose fat over night. The body doesn’t work that way. Especially when you consider the time it takes to actually digest food. A lot of what you see on the scale is undigested food and water weight.

  13. Avatar Masonkenl says:

    Oddly enough both agree dwelling over weight in an obsessive way is not good for you seek help. Anyone serious about their health and doing something about it understands the ebb and flow of your weight. It’s just one more tool in your tool box to good health. When I weigh in Monday am I realize maybe the weekend diet wasn’t good for me after all! Common sense and proper weight management is good for good health. I’m on the scale daily

  14. I’m also #TeamDaily. I built the habit and now it’s part of my morning routine. I even weight myself before and after a walk/run or at night, just to see how those activities translate in the scale (but the early morning reading is the “official”). The important thing here is UNDERSTANDING how your body works. I do agree weighting daily may be frustrating for some, but the last remark from Seltzer is also mine: The more data points you get, the more you can figure out whether you are losing fat of not.” Also, I don’t focus on daily variations, I rather chart my weight using weekly averages. That works for me.

  15. Avatar Bill Strahan says:

    If you’re going to the trouble of weighing yourself every day, do it as far as possible as consistently as you can. Keeo conditions the same by weighing first thing in the morning before breakfast, and then plot a moving average on a spreadsheet. Taking the average of the last 3 or 4 (or more) readings to filter out blips. This will reveal the trend in your weight which will help reduce anxiety whther you’re trying to lose, maintain or bulk up – each of which are equally merititious endeavours!

  16. Avatar John in Brisbane says:

    Every day, same scales. The arguments against are based on respecting the silly stuff we can carry on with. No, your weight will vary daily and understanding that is part of understanding the reality of your body. If you lack the mental resilience to cope, change that. Too much psychology is too respectful of people not trying. We need to be kind to ourselves, to chose to be kind, but also to firmly control our minds and our lives.
    And the act of weighing yourself daily means you are making your body a priority. It’s not just some ideas in your head, it’s the reality of you and the body that contains you.

  17. Avatar Justin Thomas says:

    I weigh myself every day. However I pay attention to a rolling 7 day average. My only judgement is based on whether I am above or below the rolling average for that day. I have found this makes my dieting (weight loss, mostly successful) more controlled and I have greater success.

  18. Avatar Laupepa says:

    I try to weigh every day at a consistent time – but not because I’m interested in the day to day results. It’s more the long term trend. The more data you have the more likely your weight loss journey is reflected accurately. If I see my average weight trending down after a month or two then I know, ultimately, I’m on track. I don’t invest too much emotionally in the day to day result.

  19. Avatar DaBoss says:

    It’s a bit simplistic to think that overdoing your food intake at the weekend leads to noticeable weight gain by Monday. In reality things happen much more slowly; otherwise losing weight would be easy, and it’s not. I have Fitbit Aria scales that integrate into apps on my PC and phone. I use My Fitness Pal to record my food intake and exercise and MFP will predict my future weight based on the calories in vs calories out. I also use Runtastic apps, many of which are free and which also send data to MFP to show calories ‘burned’ during exercise. Knowledge is power.

  20. Avatar Merrilyn Tattersall says:

    Well even with glasses on i couldn’t read the two opposing expert opinions because i was unable to zoom it out bigger so pretty useless really..why is this like that??? GGGRRR 🙁

  21. Avatar elwyn5150 says:

    I weigh myself everyday with Smart scales. The scales automatically send the data (overall weight, muscle mass, fat, water) to the Garmin website.
    It only takes a couple of seconds at the start of each morning and I remember that the day-to-day results don’t matter as much as overall trends.

  22. Avatar Casselberg says:

    I had been overweight by 25 to 35 lbs all my adult life as a 5’9″ male. I’ve exercised heavy for years with no weight management sucess. I would lose it and regain it until now. I went on weight watchers, yet again, but this time I lost 33 lbs to my goal and never dawned the doors of WW. I used their original plan which I’ve had for years. So far I’ve kept the weight off for over a year. I weigh myself daily, every morning after getting out of bed. I get up, go to the bathroom and then hit the scale. I started my diet by keeping a daily record on my phone and I still do. Why? I know two people who have kept their weight off over 50 yrs by weighing daily and still weigh the same as they did in high school. I have a long way to go, but so far so good. It’s much easier for me to manage myself daily. I even carry a scale with me when I travel for more than a day. My weight fluctuates up or down by 2 or 3 pounds, but that scale tells me what I need to do each day and it doesn’t lie to me as I tend to do. Sometimes it takes me 4 or 5 days to get my weight back down, but it’s much easier for me this way.

  23. Avatar Sasdia says:

    No 2 scales are the same. I weigh myself every day. Thus when i am om the move the first thing I’d do is weighing myself in the morning to establish my ‘baseline’. As long as im within 10% margin i am mantaining my weight. Below that i am further losing it and above it means i am enjoying food a bit too much rather than the bussines trip.

    Initially it was about losing the weight, but now it’s all about the vanity pounds.

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