In my opinion, managing your weight without checking in at the scale is like trying to budget your money without ever looking at your bank statements. Waiting until you feel the tightness is your clothes is like waiting for the overdraft notice to arrive in the mail – it’s too late! And, now there’s even more research to support this.
Dr. Brian Wansink and other researchers examined nearly 3000 weight measurements (up to a years’ worth of weigh-ins) from 40 overweight individuals who indicated that weight loss was a personal goal or concern. And, guess what they found out? “The more often you weigh yourself the more weight you lose,” says to lead author Elina Helander from Tempere University of Technology in Finland. Of course, this doesn’t prove cause and effect, but why would we not want to know what we weigh…if we’re concerned about our weight?
The average time that participants could go between weighting without gaining weight was 5.8 days – so Dr. Wansink recommends a weekly weigh-in. In a recent post, he suggested that Wednesday was a good day for weigh-ins.
In another of his research studies, the team found that even those who maintain their weight had weights that ranged (during the week) from -3% to 1% weight change. Generally, Sunday and Monday are the highest, while the end of the week is the lowest weight.
It’s for this reason, this day-to-day weight fluctuation, I recommend a daily weigh-in as soon as you awaken. How are you to know if this is a “high” day or a “low” day? When you weigh yourself on a daily basis, perhaps using a charting system such as on the MyFitnessPal app, you can see at a glance if you’re gaining, losing, or maintaining your weight.