If you hop on the scale and don’t like the number that pops up, there are several things you can do. Sweat out your water weight, go to the bathroom, take off any excess clothing and try again. If that doesn’t work, go out and buy a second scale, put one foot on each and add the two numbers together.
You probably just lost about two pounds!
Study after study show that there is a link between weight measurement and weight maintenance. A study by the National Weight Control Registry shows that in a survey of 3000 people who had lost 30lbs or more and kept it off for a year or more, 36.2% had been weighing themselves at least once a day. The participants who had been weighing themselves more frequently had a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than those who weighed themselves less frequently.
While these numbers may seem like the perfect reason to invest in a scale and start a new habit, experts warn that frequent weigh-ins may not be the best strategy for everyone. Daily fluctuations in weight can depend on a variety of factors, including the time of day, recent food intake, sodium intake, and even the spot on the floor where you’ve put the scale.
Weight Watchers recommends that multiple methods of self-monitoring be part of the weight-loss process, including weekly measurements. Its approach also advises weighing yourself in a consistent way, such as during the same time of day or week and using the same scale each time.
In an article for the Huffington Post, Irene Rubaum-Keller, licensed psychotherapist and author of the book Foodaholic, recommends weighing yourself first thing every morning and averaging your daily weights to get your average weekly weight. She argues that this is more accurate than once a week because it evens out water weight fluctuations.
Although studies and experts agree that monitoring weight can be beneficial for weight loss and maintenance, it’s important to remember that your weight is only a number.
Stepping on the scale should never be an experience that is able to make or break your day. When measuring your progress, take other factors into account: Body Mass Index, measuring tape measurements, and even the way your clothes fit.
All the studies and theories in the world should not determine how you feel about your weight. If you feel great without weighing-in, skip the scale and focus on whatever you think will lead you to the greatest amount of health and happiness.
By Juliana LaBianca