Should you weigh yourself routinely or not? You’ll see things all over the map like “You should never weigh yourself” or “You should just go with how you feel” or “If you feel good, you’re good.” There are a lot of questions out there and I’m going to give you my thought on that whole issue about weighing. Weighing is the best monitor we have as far as keeping track of your weight and overall health.
Weighing is a good way to look at health because when our weight is stable, we tend to be in stable health. When our weight is changing very quickly one way or the other, potentially there can be changes in health. In a weight loss program we’re obviously trying to lose weight. So, subsequently then we want to keep track of these things.
Should your weigh in routine be once a week, twice a week, should we step on the scale whenever?? I encourage people to weigh themselves daily and you should weigh yourselves early in the morning. If you forget to weigh yourself early in the morning, don’t bother. Wait until the next day. It should be routine weighing. Why do I say that? Many of the patients I see are very sensitive to carbohydrates. As we’ve talked about many times in the past, carbohydrates influence insulin level. Insulin is one of the hormones that makes you retain water. It also makes you store fat. If insulin levels go up, you store fat, but the first thing you do is retain water. Subsequently, weight jumps up. So, it’s actually a good monitor to weigh yourself. Many of our patients are sensitive to carbohydrates and even a little carbohydrate causes a significant weight increase.
If your weigh in routine is daily, it’s relatively easy to look back on the past 24 hours and see what you did differently. Where did you stray? What happened over the last 24 hours? If your weigh in routine is once a week, it’s hard to look back at a whole week period of time and see what happened differently. It seems like we’re doing the same things week-to-week. But day-to-day it’s much easier to monitor your weight and notice little changes. And, little changes will matter. If you’re sensitive to carbohydrates, one bad day can cause your weight to jump up significantly. If you wait a week to find that out, you’ll never really know what happened. This goes along with the journaling discussion we’ve had as well. So, write things down and weigh yourself routinely.
I typically like people to weigh themselves in the morning. Early in the morning is your most accurate weight. As we progress throughout the day, we typically will retain some fluid and weight will go up. Make it a part of the morning routine. Get up, weigh yourself, and get on with your day. If you’re someone who is going to obsess about the numbers, understand that the weight does fluctuate day-to-day even when you’re doing all the right things. Don’t obsess about that number. What I encourage people to do is to look at what’s happened on average over the past 7 days. But don’t obsess about the numbers because there are lots of reasons to have fluid shifts and fluctuations up and down, and it may not be something you ate the previous day. It could be that you’re close to your cycle (women). It could be blood pressure or salt issues. There are lots of little things that will play into that. The biggest thing tends to be the carbohydrate sensitivity. Overall, I recommend you weigh yourself daily early in the morning. If you forget, wait until the next morning.
Don’t forget to post your weight losses on the Home Page of the website!