Should You Weigh Yourself Every Day?

Q: True or false: stepping on the scale every day helps you maintain weight loss.

A: True. An 18-month study that found people who stepped on the scale daily were far less likely to regain weight than those who did not. According to the lead researcher, Dr. Rena Wing, daily weigh-ins help you catch little upticks in weight before they compound and become overwhelming. The scale helps keep you accountable. If you see an extra pound or two, it’s a signal that you’ve eased up on your diet and exercise regimen and need to take action pronto.

I agree with Dr. Wing for the most part, but I don’t think this approach is necessarily right for everyone. If you’re the type of person who uses a bad weigh-in as incentive to change your behavior in a positive manner, like cutting back on portion sizes for a few days, then I think the scale is a great tool. If, however, an extra pound or two infects your whole day and makes you throw up your hands in despair or drown your sorrows with food, then everyday weighing is not for you. You’re probably better off weighing yourself only once a week, which will wash out some of the minor day-to-day fluctuations. Or, trash the scale altogether and use a pair of tight jeans or a pencil skirt to gauge how you’re doing.


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