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Step Right Up… Onto the Scale!

Submitted By: Amy Sercel

Edited By: Marcia Bristow MS RDN CSSD CD

Did you make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight?  Or maybe you want to maintain the weight you’re at.  Either way, getting on the scale will help you reach your goal!  Many studies have shown that people who weigh themselves daily or every other day lose more weight than those who weigh themselves less often.  Frequent weighers are also more likely to stick to their dietary and fitness goals, and less likely to re-gain any weight they’ve lost.

If the advice to weigh yourself more often goes against what you’ve been told in the past, you aren’t alone!  It was previously thought that getting onto the scale more than once per week could lead to body image dissatisfaction and other negative feelings, especially if the number on the scale wasn’t what you expected.  Recent research has found that this is not the case.  People with higher BMIs did tend to weigh themselves more often and also have lower body image satisfaction than people in lower weight groups; however, when peoples’ body weights were not accounted for, frequency of weighing alone was not found to have any impact on body image.

It’s important to note that people of all weights will probably get onto the scale less often as time goes on. This might be because the numbers stopped going down as quickly, so people were less excited about weighing themselves every day.  One way to encourage yourself to get back onto the scale could be to keep a written record of your weight.  A visual comparison of your weights for the past week and your goal weight might be more motivating than one number on the scale!  If you don’t want to keep track of your weight by hand, you could purchase a digital scale that emails you a record of your weights.

You also want to weigh yourself at around the same time each day.  The clothes you’re wearing, the food you’ve eaten, and your hydration status will all impact weight and could cause a 1-2 pound change that does not reflect your body mass.  A consistent time, such as early in the morning or right before bed, will give you a more accurate picture of your weight status, and help you reach or maintain your weight-loss goals!

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