You walk by it often, and on most days don’t want to look at it, especially if you are actively trying to lose weight and shape up. But there it stares at you, waiting to give you a number: the scale. Should you weigh yourself often, or is avoiding the scale better for your weight loss goals and confidence? Read on for the pros and cons of frequent weigh-ins.
You stay on top of things
Frequent weigh-ins (a few times a week) mean you are able to stay on top of things when it comes to your diet and exercise. Though you won’t see progress overnight, staying aware of your weight with a goal in mind might give you the extra push to achieve that goal.
When the cake calls, you remember the scale
Knowing you’ll be weighing yourself the next day may deter you from eating that first or second piece of cake after dinner. Obviously a piece of cake won’t result in your putting on five pounds overnight, but passing on dessert will help you achieve your goal faster.
You learn more about your body
Frequent weigh-ins might help you see patterns with your exercise and diet combined. You may learn that you retain water weight when you consume certain foods or drinks. You may also notice your weight fluctuates with the amount of daily exercise you do. Whatever you notice, frequent weigh-ins may put you more in tune with your body.
You might become numbers-obsessed
If you weigh yourself too often (like every day or even a few times a day), you may become obsessed with the number on the scale. Your focus may shift solely to your diet and exercise regime, as you’ll constantly wonder how certain things will affect your daily weigh-in. This may even lead to you stressing over the number you see rather than feeling more positive about your accomplishments.
You might get discouraged
If you weigh yourself at different times of the day, you may notice you’re heavier at night than you are when you first wake (after using the bathroom). Of course this is because of water retention and the meals you’ve eaten. Regardless, it could leave you discouraged, and you may even compromise your diet, as you might think your trying to lose weight is all in vain.
Measuring may be better than weighing
If you work out often, try measuring yourself instead of weighing yourself. Muscle weighs more than fat, so you may notice the scale doesn’t budge much or that you even gained weight. This is because even though you may have lost fat, you’ve gained muscle, which keeps the scale at the same number or sometimes even at a higher number. In this case, weighing yourself may not be the greatest way to gauge your results. Instead, judging your progress by how your clothes fit you and by measuring yourself is a better option than stepping onto the scale.
It’s all about balance
Weighing yourself and tracking your progress weekly is more accurate than daily weigh-ins. If you could weigh yourself more frequently without getting upset or obsessed with the number you see, there’s no harm in it. However, if you replace the positive feeling of accomplishment you get with stress over a number on the scale, then it might be a better idea to hold off on weighing yourself often. In the end, you should be proud of yourself for doing your best to get healthier. Remember, it’s all about balance!