Why You Shouldn't Be Stepping on the Scale at Night, According to a Doctor

Because your weight can fluctuate throughout the day, it's best to always weigh yourself at the same time, in order to get the most accurate reading and a better sense of how you're tracking with your goals. And ideally, this would be in the morning before you eat or drink anything, Akua Ampadu, MD, a board-certified internal medicine physician in New York, told POPSUGAR.

Weighing yourself at night could sound a false alarm that you've gained weight, because most food hasn't been adequately digested by the end of the day. For this reason, "the best time is first thing in the morning after you've used the bathroom," Dr. Ampadu explained. "[By] the morning, most of the food you've consumed the day before has been digested or removed as waste." She also recommends stripping off your clothes before stepping on the scale, because they too could affect the reading.

The location of the scale is equally as important, Dr. Ampadu added. Your scale should be placed on a hard, flat surface, and never on carpet. Likewise, it's best if your scale stays in the same room untouched until it's needed. And, as bizarre as it may sound, there are wrong ways to stand on a scale. To make sure your weight is evenly distributed, "place feet evenly on the center of the scale," Dr. Ampadu said. Remain still until you're finished.

Remember that health is not judged by the scale alone and, if you're trying to lose weight, you may not see results overnight. To stay on top of your goals, without becoming too wrapped up in the number on the scale — which can take a toll, emotionally and mentally — Dr. Ampadu recommends consistent weekly weigh-ins, always on the same day, at the same time.