Nutrition Nook: How often should you step on the scale?

Whether you are trying to lose weight or working to maintain weight loss, a common concern you might have is, how often should I step on the scale? Unfortunately, the answer to that question isn’t always easy.

Previously, weight loss experts stated we should only step on the scale one time a week. Now, research has suggests that more frequent weigh-ins support greater weight loss and better long-term weight management. Stepping on the scale daily, or close to it, is a great way to increase accountability and may influence your food and exercise habits throughout the day. Seeing that number provides you with an objective picture of how things are going.

When you are stepping on your scale regularly it can be common to see some weight fluctuations, these are normal. Your weight can fluctuate hourly based on how much water you have consumed, the amount of salt you ate, physical activity levels, and bowel movements. When weighing yourself daily pick a specific time of day you weigh, for example first thing in the morning. It is also important to look at the overall trend in which direction the scale is going, not reflecting on fluctuations day in and day out.

For some, frequent weighing could be counterproductive. Individuals who find the scale readings effect how their day goes, or who negatively react to the fluctuations on the scale might not benefit from frequently stepping on the scale. These individuals could benefit from occasional weigh-ins, such as once a week or monthly at home, or when they come in to their appointments.

Last, the scale should only be a tool that helps you; it should never determine your happiness.  Remember there are multiple measures to look at success: how clothes fit, decreases in blood pressure and/or blood sugar, reductions in medications, better sleep patterns, being more active, and improved self-esteem.

When it comes to stepping on the scale there is no one-size-fits-all approach, you need to find the approach that helps you with your goals!

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