When you are trying to lose weight, the scale can seem like a mortal enemy. But really, it is just a way of charting your progress, telling you how well you are doing. Or it shows you where you need to improve.
One of the main questions I am asked concerning weight loss is, “How often should I weigh myself?”
In my practice I find that a large part of weight loss is emotional, so weight problems too often can cause some people to give up from lack of success much too soon.
Weight gain, if it is not due directly to a medical condition, is lifestyle-related. The more you can focus on your lifestyle or emotional issues, the more success you can have. So I tend to focus on lifestyle changes instead of solely looking at the scale.
There are other measures that can also give you an objective measure of success, like measuring inches in strategic parts of you body. I usually also have my patients look at measurement on the neck, upper arm, in the chest area, around the waist, at the hips and thighs. This can also give information about positive changing body composition, even when direct weight loss isn't happening.
Normal or average weight loss consists of 1-2 pounds per week. If you are losing 1 pound per week then you're losing on average 2.2 ounces per day.
To give you some perspective 2.2 ounces is equal to about 3 egg whites scrambled. Many people would not see that as progress, yet it is, each day. So I think it better to weigh less often instead of more often.
When I am working with patients I actually ask them not to weight themselves at all. I want you focus on behavior that you create on a daily and weekly basis that become part of your routine. These behaviors are what create the consistent weight loss over time, which is the goal for weight loss and maintenance.
I usually weigh them once per month for the first three to six months of the plan. I have found it to be one of the most successful ways to encourage great lifestyle behaviors, that create weight loss as a side effect of great behavior.
There have been a few studies that encourage you to weigh yourself on a daily basis.