How Often Should You Weigh Yourself When Trying to Lose Weight?

When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to track your progress. But how often should you do this? The answer isn’t a one-size-fits-all, but there are some guidelines. We turned to experts and reviewed the latest research to figure out the best way to go about it.

Weighing yourself daily may help you see results sooner. One study found that people who weighed themselves every day lost more weight over a year than those who checked in only weekly. But this approach isn’t right for everyone, and it can also lead to an unhealthy obsession with the number on the scale, which can sabotage your goals.

The key is to weigh yourself at the same time each week, when your body is most likely at its stable state. That will provide the most accurate reading. You should also use the same scale and the same clothing (no sweatpants!) to get the most consistent result.

It’s also important to remember that the scale is only a tool, and not a magic bullet. The number on the scale can vary throughout the day due to things like hydration, menstrual cycles, and what you’ve eaten. It’s more important to focus on other aspects of your health, such as how your clothes fit and your energy levels.

Some experts recommend weighing yourself at least once a week, but no more than once a day. This can help you find patterns and detect obstacles to your success, such as an unexpected rise in your weight that could indicate too much or too little food intake.

Other experts, including registered dietitian Alana Kessler and Talkspace therapist Kate Rosenblatt, say that it depends on what your personal triggers are. For some, stepping on the scale can be motivating and non-triggering, while others may find that it’s a stressful experience that leads to limiting beliefs such as unworthiness or shame.

Weighing yourself less frequently can also help you stay on track. It can take the pressure off, and you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of your progress, which can be helpful for long-term sustainability.

The decision to weigh yourself is up to you and your doctor. But the main thing to keep in mind is that losing weight takes time, and you don’t need a number on the scale to tell you when you’re making progress. So, when you do step on the scale, remember that it’s a tool—not a god. And be sure to follow the other healthy habits that will help you reach your goal.