How often do you weigh yourself?

by Andie Mitchell on September 26, 2012

A source of frustration that everyone who has ever tried to lose weight or maintain weight is that pesky box in the bathroom, the scale. Sometimes no matter how good a week you had while sticking to your goals, no matter how many times you narrowly escaped the urge to face plant into a birthday cake, the scale just won’t cooperate.

It happens.

We’ve all at one time or another experienced one of life’s great embarrassments- standing naked and alone, arguing with an inanimate object.

For lots of folks, the week to week fluctuations of the scale define the success or failure of their diets. This is both dangerous and impractical as a way to judge success. It’s impractical because your body weight measures much more than just your fat content, which is what most dieters are concerned with. The scale measures the gravitational pull on your fat but also your bones, organs, tissue, blood, water and everything else that you’re composed of. There are fluctuations constantly based on your food intake, waste output, water retention, and many other biological processes that have nothing to do with fat or calories. These can affect your scale weight by several pounds in either direction. This, my friends, is why weighing your body to measure how successful you were at losing fat is an imperfect measurement.

It can be dangerous to define your success by your weight because many dieters end up getting so discouraged after a disappointing weigh in that they throw in the towel. If you are a person who fits this description you may be better off just weighing yourself once a month if at all. If you set goals for yourself that you know will lead to weight loss, have confidence that you’ll lose weight if you meet your goals regardless of what the scale says. If you’re the curious type and someone who can handle the daily swings of variance, it is perfectly fine to weigh yourself everyday. Some studies have shown that the accountability of a daily weigh in can be helpful. You won’t always see the scale go down but you should be able to see a downward trend over time. I like to weigh myself once per week but I always keep in mind that the number isn’t so important.

Do you find more frequent weigh ins hold you accountable? Or, does the variance frustrate you too much?

{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara @my less serious life September 26, 2012 at 3:56 am

this is so true. in college i weighed myself often and really let the number define my day. i just couldn’t help it. now i know about the natural fluctuations and weight myself only periodically to check in. i give myself a plus or minus 5 pound cushion to account (in my head) for these daily fluctuations.

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T September 26, 2012 at 4:27 am

I weigh myself about once a month (usually when I’m at a friend or relative’s house with a scale) and that’s just enough for me. I like to make sure I’m staying around the same weight from month to month, but I try to remember all of those biological processes you mentioned that cause our weight to fluctuate. Thanks for creating a safe space for us to share our feelings about weight– your blog has helped me more than you know. :)

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marilyn September 26, 2012 at 4:43 am

Every day at the same time.

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Tracy September 26, 2012 at 4:51 am

I weigh-in weekly. It keeps me in check because sometimes I can stray in my food choices. But I also realize that if I ate out the night before weigh-in the number will be higher than normal because of how salty the food usually is. Weighing in once a week also gets me to be super strict 3 days before the weigh in. I usually stay within my calorie goal/points knowing that if I stray it will be higher.

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Hannah September 26, 2012 at 5:02 am

I weigh myself daily, and use beeminder.com to log the data. It’s really good at showing the trend in your measurements so you don’t get hung up on random fluctuations!

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Angela September 26, 2012 at 5:18 am

I weigh myself daily and I log this on sparkpeople.com. I do have to say that the scale is either a confidence booster or an ego killer. I don’t know why but I let that little box control my emotions. I’m in a great mood if I’m down or maintaining. If I am up even the slightest bit, I am in a foul mood.

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Bailey @ Onederland or Bust! September 26, 2012 at 5:23 am

I’m torn about this.

I used to weigh myself once a week, but in the past year I’ve become a daily weigher and I cannot seem to break the habit. I don’t like that I weigh myself every day, but I’m also scared that I’ll go off track if I don’t.

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Danielle September 26, 2012 at 5:28 am

I weigh myself every single day when I first wake up. I feel strange without it at this point. I used to beat myself up, but after 4 years of maintaining a weight loss of 80 lbs, it is what it is. Keeps that fluctuating 5 from turning into 10 or 20.

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Amanda September 26, 2012 at 6:04 am

I’ve been on a weight loss journey for over a year and have lost 70 pounds. I am obsessed with getting on that scale daily. It’s the first thing I do every morning. It’s driving me crazy! This week, I’ve committed to putting the scale away until next Wednesday when I weigh in again. You can read my Weigh In Wednesday blog post here: http://bit.ly/OUvXax

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MAJL September 26, 2012 at 6:38 am

The variance is very frustrating! I have been trying to lose 8 pounds for a year but wonder if that number is actually accurate considering I am using a different scale than my benchmark. It’s not like I will fly 4000km’s to weigh myself. I try to use clothes as a guideline, knowing that during some times of the month, I will be very bloated and clothes won’t fit.

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Melissa September 26, 2012 at 6:42 am

I weighed myself twice in the last eight weeks and both times it frustrated me to no end, even though I lost a pant size during that time. So, I stopped altogether. It works for me because I focus on how my clothes feel, how my mileage and speed improve on my runs, my ever more defined legs and stomach, rather than the number on that little machine. I’d like to keep it this way long-term. Much better for my mental health.

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TJ September 26, 2012 at 6:45 am

Having lost the amount of weight that you have and then maintaining it for this long is incredibly inspiring. I have been so curious how you felt about weighing and how you went about it. Thanks for sharing. :) I weight 1-3 times a month just depends on how I feel. If I think the scale will show a larger number I a lot of times avoid it. Even though I know the number is not the whole enchilada It gets me bothered and in a stew. It is good to be reminded that the number on the scale does not measure fat loss. Thanks again for sharing.

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Alex September 26, 2012 at 6:45 am

I’m in the daily boat. It holds me accountable. I have one of those scales that saves data for 4 people. We each have a button. It saves my starting weight, goal weight and tracks how much I’ve lost. I used to have a weigh in day – one precious day per week to push the button. Now in the last few months I’ve decided that pushing the button should be a reward, a motivator instead of a record of my failings and sometimes successes. I still weigh in each day but data doesn’t get saved unless it’s a loss. That way if it starts to go up, I see the accumulation and not the smaller bits here and there. It’s been a good motivator and loss has become more steady vs sporadic. The scale is no longer an enemy. :) I’m 37 down and 23 more to go.

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Dukebdc September 26, 2012 at 6:54 am

My relationship with the scale varies based on my current status. I am one of those people who can lose weight, and can gain weight, but really sucks at maintaining. I try to weigh in at least once a week, because any less frequently and I feel like I can get away with a lot of poor eating and not face the music.

Daily weighing is helpful to me in the sense that my weight actually doesn’t fluctuate that much from one morning to the next. The daily check-ins remind me that one good day isn’t enough to erase all the weight, and one bad day won’t completely derail any healthy efforts, so it actually works in my favor at certain times.

My highest weight was during a time when I did not have a scale in my home. It was too easy to lie to myself that I was just bloated, or gained muscle, or some other bs, when really I was just gaining weight from a poor diet. The scale urges me to tell the truth.

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Barb September 26, 2012 at 7:18 am

Every damn day! Keeps me in check- I’ve learned that if I take in too many starchy carbs I will go up anywhere from 3 to 5 lbs. overnight- add a beer and it could be as much as 6….But I have learned not to let it define my day, but use it to keep me in line and help refocus better choices.

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Julie E September 26, 2012 at 7:21 am

I weigh every day. I understand that my weight flucuates daily so I don’t worry as long as it stays within a certain range. If it strays outside of that range, I refocus my eating and exercise to get it back to my acceptable range.

I weigh myself daily because I know how easy it is for me to gain weight fast. In the past, I gained 30 lbs in 6 months! I could feel my clothes getting tighter but since I didn’t weigh myself regularly (I was in denial) I didn’t get the shock of seeing the numbers. I’ve now lost 175 lbs and have kept it off for over 2 years. It’s a constant part of my life, making sure I’m eating ok and always exercising. Weighing myself is just another step for me in the process of maintenance.

I can see how it wouldn’t be for everyone, though, and maybe someday I’ll weigh myself less. Maybe. :)

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Victoria September 26, 2012 at 7:22 am

When I’ve been smaller, daily weigh ins worked well. But when I’m losing, I need a better look at the big picture to keep me from getting too OCD or beating myself up, so I only weigh once a week.

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Emily September 26, 2012 at 7:55 am

I’m torn about this. When I was younger, I was borderline anorexic and would weigh myself daily and sometimes multiple times a day. When I began to make peach with food, I saw my obsessive weigh-ins as a destructive tool, and stopped completely. Now, years later, I am overweight but terrified to weigh myself. I don’t want to see the number, to be sure, but I also don’t want to get stuck in another destructive pattern.

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Trish September 26, 2012 at 8:52 am

When I was larger, I weighed in every day. I got really sick of seeing the number on the scale, so I started working out a lot, and weighing myself twice a day. I realized that I was being really self destructive, so I went down to weighing in every other week. That lasted till I got close to my goal weight, and since then I’ve stop obsessing over it. I’m close enough to where I wanted to be, that I don’t worry about what the scale says, and if I think if it, I weigh in once a week or so. Just to make sure that it hasn’t started to creep back up again.

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Destinie September 26, 2012 at 9:15 am

I do weigh in almost daily or every other day. I have made it a rule to never ever ever weigh in on a Monday. My weight is ALWAYS higher on Monday. :) So I suppose that is a sign that the variance does bother me a little. Overall I’d say it mainly holds me accountable. If I’m losing too fast then something is up and if I’ve packed on a few pounds then I need to look back at the last few days and try to figure out whats going on.

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Jessy September 26, 2012 at 9:38 am

So, I’ve read all of the comments and apparently I’m the first to say that I never weight myself?? I guess it makes sense since this is a weight loss blog. I haven’t done it in over a year and do not plan on doing it, unless they will weight me at the doctor’s appointment. I don’t think weight has much importance – there are much better signs of both health and looks.

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Mary September 26, 2012 at 9:41 am

I don’t weigh myself anymore. I weighed myself around new years and saw i was 136. Started running, i’ve done at least 14 races this year (5ks, 10ks, and 15ks) and weighed myself again recently…. 136. I go now by how I feel and how my clothes fit. But not all clothes, jeans fresh out of the dryer clothes. If i feel bleh then i know I need to work out some more and eat better/healthier. I think weighing often could be useful if someone wants to lose a good chunk of weight, say 20+ pounds. But if the goal is to feel fitter and perhaps look better, then I think the scale could be more of a detriment than a supplement.

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Shelley September 26, 2012 at 9:42 am

Haven’t weighed myself in years! I even get on the scale at the doctor’s office backwards and tell the nurse not to tell me the number b/c I have issues. Know myself well enough now that I know I cannot handle the fluctuations. As a recovered anorexic and bulimic I have to do the things that keep me at peace with my body. I go by how my clothes fit. Thanks for your blog!

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Robin September 26, 2012 at 10:04 am

Funny that this is the topic today. I am beginning to hate the scale. Last week i weighed myself and was feeling great about the numbers (144 5’9″). I also have been eating really healthy for the last 16 days (yes I count them) and have been working out. Well I went out last weekend drinking and eating yummy food and today I weighed myself and the scale said I weighed 4 pounds more (148). I am beginning to get so frustrated. I feel like I can’t even go out and have a good time without feeling down and bloated the next few days after :/ I do feel like everything is fitting much tighter this week. My feel good weight is 138-140. I must add that I have been working out for the last 6 years religiously (weights, running, walking, eliptical). Any advice?..
Frustrated in WI.

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Katie March 18, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Hi Robin,

I am pausing my quest to read everything on this blog ;) because I have absolutely been in your shoes. My advice would be to stop punishing yourself for the scale, the gain, the binging, all of it. Every time I have spiraled into gaining weight, it has been because I have made excuses and allowed myself to let go for MONTHS, and then when I woke up and realized how much I had gained, I would punish myself by restricting calories, thinking “I ate all that yesterday, I better not eat much today.” I finally found my balance by not harping on yesterday. When I go through a binge, I get myself under control, and then I strive to eat better but normally the next day- I no longer make drastic calorie cuts to make up for my transgressions. Exercise doesn’t burn a whole whole lot, but it’s great for your heart, so I don’t exercise to lose weight, I exercise to be healthy and I do only the exercises I find tolerable (let’s face it, few of us enjoy the burn!). When I get on the scale and it’s a few pounds up, I allow myself a “damnit” and then I step off and step away from the scale, both physically and mentally. I then try to remain congnizant of eating normal-people-sized-portions, adding veggies to my plate and not eating just to eat. I try to move a little more, even if it’s just for five minutes here and there, and I forgive myself for the gain and just try to do better.

After I got engaged in June, I gained 15 pounds for now the second time in my life. Cutting myself a break has allowed me to lose 10 pounds in the past 7 weeks. For months prior, I had been cutting an extreme amount of calories, and never lost a pound because the restriction made me famished and turned me into a food swallowing machine!

Maintaining long-term weightloss has to be a lifestyle and one you feel GREAT about. If you only have a few pounds to lose, instead of trying to drop them all at once, try to change your lifestyle in little ways that you can sustain. I don’t calorie count, but I make sure I’m not constantly binging or starving, and I get my butt up 5 days a week for a little sweating. I have never been healthier or happier! When I go out to eat- anytime I feel like it- I eat a little slower, stop when I start to feel full, then vigorously pat myself on the back for my awesome self-control! If I binge, I know I’ll forgive myself, because these days, I’m my biggest fan.

So I guess what I think I’m reading is you not cutting yourself a break and it’s foiling your efforts. A few bad days are NOT going to make or break your diet, just like a few good days will not whittle you into Victoria-Secret-model thin. That’s not how sustained health or weight loss works. Eat right, move your body when you can, in the ways you can, in the ways you love, and you’ll find a healthy, happy weight you can live with without the constant struggle.

Always remember you’re not alone. I am 5’8″, and in college, when I was 114, I still saw my thighs jiggle when I looked in the mirror (how anything was jiggling at 114, I couldn’t tell ya!) Don’t be your own biggest critic. There are plenty of jerks in the world who don’t know how sweet you are for that!

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Jana September 26, 2012 at 10:15 am

When I was trying to lose weight, I weighed myself everyday. It helped to make the right food choices and to exercise. Now that I am maintaining my weight I like to weigh myself just once or twice a week, just to make sure that I am not slipping. I give myself a 3 pound range of what my weight should be. If I go over that range, back on the 1200 calories/day I go!

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sweet addy September 26, 2012 at 10:17 am

As someone in the midst of losing (hopefully) 155 pounds (I’m currently down 92), I weigh myself every single day.

When I started, I was wearing size 24 pants – it takes a LOT of pounds lost to get out of size 24. If I wasn’t weighing in, if I was only relying on how my clothes fit, I would have gotten discouraged when I didn’t see progress. But weighing in, I saw the pounds coming off long before I saw the changes in my body. The scale was the positive reinforcement that I needed to understand that all of my hard work was actually changing me.

Now, I see the changes in my body and in how clothes fit me, and I hear it in the compliments from friends and coworkers. But I still weigh in, because I still need the scale to hold me accountable to my exercise and nutrition goals. Lately, I’ve been thinking that my reliance on the scale is maybe a little unhealthy, because a bad weigh in can completely spoil my mood for a day or a week. But I’m not giving up my scale, because I still have so much weight to lose, and I love watching that number go down, even if it is sometimes much slower than I would like.

Of course, since I know that weight can fluctuate hourly, I only “count” my weight on Monday mornings.

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Maureen September 26, 2012 at 10:21 am

I also think weighing yourself once a week is a good idea. Over the summer I weighed myself nearly everyday and seeing that one to two pound difference would discourage me to the point where i’d be working out thinking “what’s the point?” I went home for the first time last week since i’ve been back at school and have actually lost more weight just by trusting myself. Too much dependence on the scale can definitely inhibit your weight loss goals!

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Daria September 26, 2012 at 10:54 am

Yesterday, I had to weigh in at the doctor’s office. And I have been beating myself up ever since for that little humiliation. I don’t understand how your home scale is always about 10 pounds off (and not is a good way!) from the doctor’s office. I do appreciate this post so much. I am one that gets a bit obsessed and when the scale doesn’t move down, I just stop trying. But knowing there are others like me – well that helps. I tend to weigh in weekly on my own when I remember…

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reluctantMANGO September 26, 2012 at 11:57 am

I asked DH to hide the scale from me for the rest of the week. I have developed an unhealthy (for me) habit of jumping on the scale first thing every morning. I know I’m doing what I need to do to get to a healthier body, and the reading on the scale doesn’t affect what I do as far as eating/exercise. But it sure does affect my mood! I’m up a pound from my last ‘official’ weigh-in (weekly), but my muscles are sore from a hard workout, I’m PMSing, and I should not expect anything else. Why am I upset??

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Melissa Nelson September 26, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I don’t weigh myself every day but do several times a week. I have an amazing ability to talk myself into food choices/portions that are outside my target, so weighing in frequently helps keep me honest.

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Sareh September 26, 2012 at 12:44 pm

I weight in once/week, but mostly as a check point. I try not to put too much stock in the number, but want to make sure I’m staying within my normal range.

When I was losing, I usually weighed in 2x/week and it really was motivating for me to be honest. Even during plateaus, but I also kept a sticky note of my starting weight on the bathroom mirror so I constantly knew how far I’d come.

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Leslie September 26, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I have to weigh-in once a month to keep my part-time job (WW leader), but I usually weigh myself once a day to keep myself in check. Lately the scale and I have been disagreeing me and it has hurt my overall self confidence. A few weeks ago at my meeting we talked about breaking bad habits and I confessed how my habit was making me have a bad attitude and I resolved to make a change in myself (just like I was encouraging them to do). In the past few weeks I have started weighing myself 1-2 times a week and it has helped my attitude a lot.

(I must confess that 2 years ago when the scale was going to much in wrong way I asked my husband to write in permanent marker my ideal weight on an old scale. So the days it really got me down I would just step on the other scale and it always told me the number I wanted to see)

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Jennielynn September 26, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Per my doctor’s recommendation, I weigh daily. I frequently have to remind myself that it’s okay the scale hasn’t moved down for three days.

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Michelle in N. Cal September 26, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I weigh in just about every morning. I’ve been logging my weight on livestrong.com for 4 years and I am able to see distinct patterns. These patterns have been a good thing to maintain my 45# loss. I can see the variances thus able to relax when I need to or tighten things up (nutrition wise) when I need to …

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Sabrina September 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I’ve weighed myself daily for years. I never let the number bother me because I know my weight fluctuates +/- 10 lbs, but I do like to use it as a gauge. If the number creeps higher it helps me remember to be a little more careful with my diet for a few weeks. It took me a long time to get here, but life is so much simpler now.

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Laurel September 26, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I used to weigh myself multiple times every week. The number meant a lot to me. Probably too much. Since I moved this summer, I haven’t had access to a scale, expect for at the doctor’s office. It is freeing to not be constantly evaluating myself. I don’t see myself in the mirror often, either, because I get ready in the dark. I’m only afraid of suddenly seeing a picture, or seeing my reflection and realizing that things have changed. I don’t know if that is true or not, my clothes seem to fit the same, but I don’t have the concrete idea that numbers gave me, day after day.

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Becca September 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm

After working out with a trainer for two years, and realizing that my weight is really only about 10 pounds less (but I am many, many inches smaller) I realized weight isn’t the best gauge for me. I still get on the scale when I remember to…but the way my clothes fit is still the best gauge for me.

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Chelsea W. September 26, 2012 at 8:09 pm

I usually weigh myself about once a week, but try to keep it the same time and day every week. The scale we have at our gym is great- it’s the Tanita scale so it gives you a print out of a ton of different numbers- like weight, bone mass, fat free mass, muscle mass, body fat %, body fat in lbs and more. It’s a great scale!
Thanks for such a wonderful blog! I love reading it!

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Heather Scott September 26, 2012 at 9:03 pm

My scale takes a hearing aid type battery, so I kept forgetting to get one all summer. I didn’t weigh myself until last week. I knew I had lost weight over the summer, not from structured dieting but I had worked very hard, been doing water zumba all summer. I started a summer job (I’m a teacher) at a neighborhood meat market that carries only local, grain fed hormone free meats. I started to change the way I was eating, just to healthier options of things (I have always eaten all my fruits and veggies)and tried to eliminate some things from my diet or just eat eat in moderation like wheat, diet soda and processed foods. So…anyhoo, I realized when the school year started that I had lost a pant size and all my “old” work pants fit me. Yay me! I finally did weigh myself last week and realized I had lost 15lbs. or so. I loved the feeling of not constantly weighing myself and psyching myself out or being too obsessive about it. I relaxed and some of the fat melted. I think that it is best for me to try to weigh myself every 2 weeks or so, just to satisfy my curiosity, but I like the feeling of realizing how my body was changing just from the fit of my clothes. Holla!

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Lisa Mary September 26, 2012 at 11:39 pm

This is a great article and very timely in my own weight loss journey. I got so obsessed with the scales, i was weight every single day – sometimes twice (day and night). Very unhealthy thing to do, especially when your emotions were dictated by that silly number on the scales.
So, I put a stop to it. It’s been a week since I weighed myself last and I feel great! I do, however, allow myself to keep three measurements. Inches around my weight, my arm and my thigh. That’s it. I judge success on this, and, of course, how I feel. If I feel good, am getting fitter and feeling healthier – than I’m winning at life!
Thanks for this article. It’s nice to know I’m not alone out there! XO

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Jay September 27, 2012 at 12:40 am

I weigh daily, as soon as I get up. I find it helps keep me aware of fluctuations, and a pound up or down isn’t disturbing, merely noteworthy.

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Samantha September 27, 2012 at 1:32 am

I have been on a weight loss goal pretty much the whole year so far, but for the first 5 months I did not weigh myself – I measured my hips, waist and bust every week instead and recorded it, then started also weighing myself once a week. Some weeks the weight hasn’t dropped, but my waist measurement has gone down 5mm (about 1/5 inch) so it helps keep me motivated as well. Seems to be working – lost 30kg so far!

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Sandy September 27, 2012 at 4:41 am

Weigh myself only at doctors office. Judge my progress mostly on if I feel healthy and energetic

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Susan September 27, 2012 at 4:52 am

I do weigh myself about once a week. I don’t like doing it but I want to keep going in the right direction.
@Daria–As for doctor’s office scale–so many people are weighed on those scales. And how often are they calibrated? I would not go by them. Go by your own scale. Realize though that your own scale may be off also because it is not calibrated. Go by how you feel and how your clothes fit.

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J September 27, 2012 at 4:58 am

You always seem to write things that connect with me.. this one is right on. You are an inspiration. Thank you! :)

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Heather Scott September 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Agreed!

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Anele @ Success Along the Weigh September 27, 2012 at 5:01 am

I weigh in every Saturday. There is no use in me weighing every day because I know my body and I don’t start losing weight for the week until the 2-3 before a weigh in so it’d just be a lesson in futility. I tried weighing myself everyday for 2 weeks one time and it gave the scale WAY more power over my mood than I cared for.

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Megan September 27, 2012 at 5:08 am

Such a great topic!

In reading through most of the comments, I am shocked at how many people weigh themselves daily!!

When I was younger, I weighed everyday, but after my first pregnancy, I gave that up. Even DURING my pregnancy, when I got to the weight I hoped I wouldn’t pass, I quit looking at the scale when I was at the doctor!

Once I lost all the baby weight, I quit the scale all together because, in the long run, when I wanted was to fit in my clothes. When the pre pregnancy clothes fit, I was happy! It didn’t matter to me what number I was.

Now, 4 kids later, I haven’t weighed myself in probably 9 years, but I always got back to pre pregnancy clothes and been able to keep myself near my comfortable weight/size. I know when I put on weight and I know when I lose…I have probably fluctuated 5-10 pounds no matter how much I exercised or how much I diet. I have the pants that never lie and I keep them in the front of my closet…when I feel things getting tighter, I cut back…when they are lose, I allow some leeway.

I know the scale varies and I just can’t handle looking at a number that can be so, so tempormental :) My clothes are my guage and it keeps me sane :)

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Alice September 27, 2012 at 5:53 am

I don’t weigh. I don’t actually own any scales. I am aware of my startting weight, and if I am keeping in my calorie range then I know the weight will come off, I believe in the science, and I don’t think it will come off any faster for knowing what number I am.

I use the scales to beat myself up and determine how I am going to feel that day. However, I do, and have done for years, jumped right out of bed in the morning and lifted my shirt up to see how flat my stomach is. And there are other signs, like my collarbones and cheekbones, that show me I am going down.

Because I have a calorie range rather than a dead number it helps me deal with wanting some chocolate one day or something. I am also more relaxed when in company (I live alone), so if I am made dinner or out for dinner I will have what I consider to be a smallish portion, and will take a small bit of dessert, and drink some wine. I am learning to be moderate, because one day I will be maintaining.

My parents’ house has some scales, which I am always tempted to use, but the battery is dead and I can’t be bothered to buy another. I might weigh myself when I go home for Christmas (before the turkey onslaught) to see how well I have done, but hopefully by then I will be back in my skinny jeans.

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Natalie @ Free Range Human September 27, 2012 at 6:05 am

For me, it’s a little of both. I think it does hold me accountable, but I do it so frequently that I can’t accurately judge the fluctuations and I get very frustrated. It’s become an obsessive habit with me, and something I really need to break away from.

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Meredith September 27, 2012 at 6:30 am

I haven’t owned a scale for the past two years so my weight loss / gain was soley based on how my clothes were fitting. If my pants started to feel snug, then I knew it was time to fit in a few more exercise sessions during the week and watch what I was eating. I recently started back on Weight Watchers and I’m weighing-in once a week. In the past when I have done WW, it was easy for me to get frustrated when on weigh-in days when my weight would stay the same or I would be down .2 of a pound. I think not owning a scale has helped me this time around because I am able to look for weight-loss victories that do not pertain to a number. For me, this is anything from fitting into old clothes I haven’t worn for a while or increasing my run time / distance when I’m out exercising.

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Millerette September 27, 2012 at 6:30 am

I really love this post, and all of you for being honest and sharing something that is very personal.

I weigh myself on Monday mornings only (harsh right?)first thing in the morning before I get dressed, and only once.

I have a very low carb lifestyle and because I don’t see weekends as my time to “cheat” (omg I love Chicken Minis from Chick Fil-a, anyone?) my Monday morning weigh in’s should be consistently lower than the weeks prior.

I am keeping a running food log and weight-loss count on my Tumblr. It has really been good for me to see everything written out and have something to go to if I’m feeling not so “thin” on a particular day.

Do you guys have a food log too?

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CrysHouse September 27, 2012 at 7:20 am

I weigh myself every morning, but the fluctuation does frustrate me. I have PCOS, and there are some days that show a gain even when I’ve been really mindful of food and exercise for the days previous. That’s just the way my body functions.

Now that I’m pregnant, I definitely weigh every morning to make sure my gain isn’t going to be something ridiculous in the end. Sometimes I panic a little bit when I see the number, but I know I just need to back off a bit for the next few days or be a little more mindful of what types of food I’ve eaten.

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Sarrah September 27, 2012 at 7:58 am

Daily because it keeps me accountable and motivated. If i’m avoiding the scale, it’s because i’m out of hand. If i’m doing well and see results on the scale, it makes me want to keep going. I can also see the patterns of what too much salt and too much sugar can do to me day to day. still loving your blog, and grateful for it during this 100# journey (half way there!)

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BlackhawksGirl September 27, 2012 at 8:02 am

Both. I don’t get on daily usually, but can hit a scale 2-3 times a week. When I start getting frustrated, I lay off and maybe only get on once a week or week and a half. When I know that I have been “nibbling” I get on more frequently to remind myself that what I put in my mouth matters. The upward fluctuations (no matter what they are caused by)are enough to get me back on track.

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Mari @ Wine Required September 27, 2012 at 8:48 am

When we moved I got rid of my scale. It’s been a month and a half since I weighed myself from home, but I went to the doctor and found out that I lost a couple of pounds. I guess not having the scale keeps me from overdoing it.

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Ally September 27, 2012 at 10:29 am

When I started on my weight loss journey I refused to weigh myself at all for the first few weeks and thought I would measure success by my (hopefully) new pants size. The problem I found with this was that it took me several weeks to go down a pants size despite the fact that ultimately I had lost 10-15 lbs in the first few weeks and I started to get discouraged and went out to buy a scale.I eventually found for me that I could not weigh in once a week, but I needed to understand how my body daily fluctuated in weight so that one number that I viewed as bad once a week didn’t derail all my hard work. Therefore, I actually went fairly extreme and weighed in morning and night everyday. I then knew that the scale would go up slightly at night despite how “good” I was and would be lower in the morning. I also figured out that my body would naturally respond certain ways to my monthly cycle which helped me stay on my diet even though the scale went up and all I wanted to do was to eat everything that even had a hint of chocolate. It also helped me to realize that if I worked hard all week and wanted to be a little lenient on the weekends when all my friends were going out for happy hour after a long week I would not be completely derailed I actually would see no overall effect of those few beers and deep-fried bar foods. 60lbs ago I would have never dreamed of saying this, but weighing myself daily has become one of the most freeing things I have ever done for myself! Everyone is different and the mental game that little box plays with each of us is different; everyone needs to figure out what sort of healthy relationship they will or will not have with it!

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Anna September 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm

I weight myself a couple times a week. If I weigh myself and it’s higher than i anticipated I’d say I treat it like a pink flag (not a red flag)…then if the next couple weigh ins are also high I take that as a trend that I should be alarmed by. In general I’ve been on a weight loss trend this year so when I see ups (and I can track them back to a really indulgent weekend, say) I let that be a reminder that those choices add up, and when I see a number that’s a new low, THOSE are the ones I track in my phone. So I weigh often, but I don’t “track” every weigh in as official, just the good ones. I don’t need to track the bad ones, they’ve done their job warning me to be careful and stay on track.

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Stephani September 27, 2012 at 4:15 pm

I weigh myself once a week – only when I am actively attempting to lose weight. Christmas time, breaks from school when I go home? I do not weigh myself at those times. Because, the reality is, I WILL gain some weight over those vacation/holidays. I will also lose it when I get back to my routine. So I do not worry about it.
I also do not let those weigh-ins define me. If I see a number that’s exciting, well woohoo! I’m happy. If I see a number that’s higher than I had hoped for…I keep it in the back of my mind for the following week – but don’t get depressed about it. If I do that, I lose all motivation.

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Amy R September 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm

I weigh in every week. It keeps me going in the right direction of weight loss. My goal this time is once I hit goal, I will continue to weigh myself every week. I think in the past I would hit my goal and then I was done, achieved that goal, no more weighing….and no more being aware of what I was putting in my mouth,etc. Hello weight again!
I do check in with how I’m feeling with clothes fitting, energy, etc. and if things are feeling off I may weigh myself an additional time in the week to get myself on track.
I do not like weighing in daily because it can fluctuate sooooo much and makes me sooooo frustrated.
Weekly works for me.

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lynsey September 28, 2012 at 2:48 am

5 years ago I set out to lose 100lbs off of my 230lb frame. I began exercising and I saw the scale slowly go down (I did not own one but used a friend’s whenever I visited her, usually 1 or 2x per month). I then started incorporating a lower calorie diet and upped my exercise intensity. I kept getting comments on how “good I looked” so I became encouraged and purchased a scale. Thus began my downward spiral. I would get on the scale as much as 3 or 4 times per day, in the morning, when I got home from work, before dinner and before going to bed. It became an obsession, especially since I began to restrict certain foods and dropped (from when I purchased the scale) from 150 to 116lbs. On a 5 foot 7 inch frame 116 made me look disgusting (to others, in the beginnings of my disorder I didn’t see it). My husband would tell me I weighed myself too much but I wouldn’t listen. One day my mother in law contacted my mother and expressed her concern over my weight. It was then I realized how destructive I was being (thank God before it was “too late”). I stopped restricting and gained 15lbs. AT first I was very unhappy, but then I incorporated strength training into my cardio and felt better about my body. I now only weigh 1x a day and am trying to make it less…baby steps people.

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Amy September 28, 2012 at 9:12 am

I am currently working really hard at not being so obsessed with the scale. It is so hard. SO SO SO SO HARD. I let the scale define way too much of my days and my joy. I’ve lost 70 lbs in two years and it’s just impossible not to worry about it all the time. I don’t have any other comment than yeah, I get this.

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NeighborhoodTrainer September 29, 2012 at 4:13 am

I will weigh in once or twice a week, but never after returning from vacation or after a late dinner. I usually eat around 5-6pm. If we go out with friends and eat late it isn’t worth knowing the next day.

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Rachel October 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Right after I got married, I suggested to my husband that we use some of our wedding gift cards towards buying a scale. He said he didn’t want a scale because scales only make people unhappy, and he didn’t want me unhappy, and he didn’t know what the big deal was since I was on the slender-to-average side of things anyway. Fair enough. Since then, when I’m visiting someone who has a scale, I’ll hop on and check things out. I’ve learned that the scale doesn’t mean much! The times when I’ve lost a dress size and have been getting compliments on my appearance, I’ve also noticed that the scale might have a higher number, whereas the times when I’m not feeling so great, the numbers might be lower. There isn’t a big rhyme or reason. Now I just track my progress by a few methods:

1. Can I still run a pretty good distance without wanting to chop off my legs?
2. When I look at my shopping cart at check-out time, do I see that at least 50% of my items come from the produce aisle?
3. Do my clothes still fit appropriately?

I’ve freed myself from the scale, and it feels great! Now I can ride my body’s natural (and miniscule) weight fluctuations (depending on if I have a cold, if I’m on my period, if I’ve been stressed) without freaking out.

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Jentacular October 4, 2012 at 11:37 am

A few years ago, I lost 50 pounds in about a year. I was really strict on myself and often weighed in daily. The number on the scale often deteremined how my day was going to go. After a while, I plateaued and got frustrated. I didn’t step on the scale for over a year. This year, I am well on my way to lose the last 30 pounds, but it took a lot to get me to start weighing in again. So, a few months ago I broke down and bought a fancy digital scale that measures body weight, body fat %, muscle %, water %, and bone weight. I really wanted to see the measurements mapped out, to see what my body does as it fluctates. It has helped enormously, because it give me a realistic point of view. The numbers are a reference, they do not define who I am.

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Megan October 4, 2012 at 6:13 pm

I’ve never owned a scale because as a college student I wasn’t willing to spend the money and because I knew there would be tears. Lately I’ve been working at losing weight, and instead of focusing on pounds I’ve been paying attention to how my clothes fit. I can tell that I’ve lost some weight because my jeans fit better and my shirts aren’t so snug through the arms and the stomach.
I find this a lot more satisfying and a lot less pressured than a daunting number on a scale.

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Brad@MyFitHQ November 2, 2012 at 10:21 am

I weigh in twice a week. This keeps me aware of the fluctuations in weight and I can attribute them to my fitness and nutrition activity for that week. I have a love-hate relationship with this method.

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Hayley November 27, 2012 at 8:51 pm

I never weigh myself. I’m embarassed to say that no matter how low the number – I always end up feeling like it isn’t low enough.I feel this way despite the fact that I know I’m a perfectly healthy weight, I eat well and am an avid fitness enthusiast. Instead of focusing on a number I try focus on feeling strong and healthy. Focusing on strength as had a huge impact on myself confidence!

Throughout my pregnancy I never once looked at the scale. I didn’t want to let a number take away from the wonderful experience of carrying my child. Since my son was born three months ago I have continued to resist looking at the scale.

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Rebecca April 17, 2013 at 4:18 pm

I’ve been working at losing weight for 3 months. I weigh myself every morning and keep a record of the weight. I know that even in my best weeks I’ll only be down to new weight lows once or twice per week, and there was a frustrating month long plateau. But the daily feedback from the scale is hugely motivational for me, as is looking at the plot of my weight over time.

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