How Often Should You Weigh Yourself?

I know you hate to look at the scale. Some trainers even suggest throwing the thing out. But the truth is, keeping an eye on your weight can help you meet your weight-loss goals.

To see if frequent self-weighing helps – or discourages – weight-loss efforts, researchers reviewed 12 studies. Eleven of the 12 indicated that more frequent self-weighing was beneficial. Folks who’d been weighing themselves weekly or daily for at least several months tended to lose more weight (and prevent subsequent weight gain) than folks who didn’t do regular self-weighing.

The researchers admit the studies weren’t perfect, but there doesn’t seem to be any reason not to weigh yourself frequently. Through my experience with clients, I’ve found that weighing yourself every couple of days does help keep you on track for fat loss and for keeping the weight off. (It also helps to have your body fat estimated and take your limb, hip, and waist circumferences every four weeks.)

However, you need to understand that weight can fluctuate up or down based on the salt content of the foods you eat, the phase of the menstrual cycle a woman is in, and the previous day’s activity. So don’t hit the panic button if your weight jumps up one day. Just make sure the general trend is downward.

[Ed. Note: For an exercise regimen that can help you build muscle and burn fat, try fitness expert Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training program.]

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