That is indeed the question. There is a lot of conflicting information out there, so I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring too. So, what am I talking about? I’m talking about whether it’s a good idea to weigh yourself every day or not.
In the past I would have come down firmly on the side of the ‘weigh once a week’ school of thought, now I’m not so sure. The thinking behind this idea is that by only weighing weekly it prevents obsession. By only weighing weekly the scales become less powerful. It seems reasonable. The problem is, it’s not true! Ask anyone that’s ever stood in a queue at a Weight Loss group. Those scales seem to have the power to make us feel like a success or a failure, good or bad. Anticipating stepping on the scales can make you feel sick. I’ve even seen people strip down to their underwear to get the result they want.
So, is there another way? Another option is to weigh every day. I’m beginning to land on this one, I’ll tell you why. If we can accept that daily fluctuations are normal, we can be a bit more removed from the number. Fancy smart scales can read what percentage of our weight is water, fat, bone mass and more. The final number is all these elements added together. It stands to reason that there will be fluctuation. To get a truer understanding of weight loss in a week you can add 7 days together and divide the number by seven.
There is another school of thought, and that is, ‘don’t weigh’. This may work for some people but I would suggest that it’s not that many. I’ve read a few articles about this and while I understand the reasoning behind it, I can’t agree. You see, by refusing to look at the scales we can be like the ostrich who puts his head in the sand. Refusing to acknowledge something, doesn’t really take away it’s power. Not looking at the scales doesn’t mean that we don’t care. Not looking at the scales may mean that we don’t have a tangible way of measuring where we are at.
Please understand that I am talking about weight loss for people who have excess weight to lose. I’m talking about health and looking after ourselves. I do believe that when we look at our weight as an indication of our health, our relationship with the scales could change. To be clear, I am not advocating jumping on the scales every hour, once a day (in the morning is best) at the same time.
So, in answer to my question, yes, I do weigh daily. Yesterday I was up a little, today I was down more, it’s all relative. When I measure I can manage any adjustments I may need to make. When I monitor these measurements I get a bigger picture and I can play the long game.
The scales don’t have to be your enemy, they are tools to help us in our health goals.
I cannot leave this article without addressing the elephant in the room. In writing this article I am aware that we live in a world where eating disorders are a very real issue. I wrote this to help people invest in their health, not to put pressure on people to conform to an unrealistic ideal. Being a healthy weight gives us the best chance to stay well into the future. To read a little bit more about my journey with weight loss have a look at my story over on my About Me page.