How Often Should You Weigh Yourself If You Want to Lose Weight?

If one of your resolutions is to lose weight, keeping track of your progress is an important part of the process. But how much is too much when it comes to weighing yourself? Experts used to suggest hopping on the scale once each week, but more studies are showing that daily weigh-ins may have more successful payoffs.


A small study run by Cornell University found that men and women who weighed themselves daily and tracked the results not only lost weight, but after two years, the average weight regained was close to zero pounds. That's huge considering many other studies show 40 percent of weight loss comes back within a year. In another small study of college students, those asked to step on a scale every day during the first 12 weeks of classes didn't put on any weight — helping avoid the "Freshman 15" altogether. In a different small two-year study of obese gym members, those asked to weigh themselves every day and chart their results lost significantly more weight and were able to keep it off.

On a personal note, I have been weighing myself daily since the end of the Summer, and I've found that the constant checking in has kept me on track. My self-control has improved because I know if I mindlessly nosh on a snack before bed, I'll be seeing it on the scale in the morning. I also have been writing down my weight each day on the Notes app on my phone, and seeing the progress in numbers is its own form of motivation.

Of course, many experts still advise against hopping on a scale every day because the natural fluctuations can create unhealthy obsessions about weight and lead to depression, especially if you have a history of those tendencies. There are other ways to keep track of your progress such as by monitoring how your clothes fit, as well as your energy levels during the day and during workouts, or by using a fitness tracker. But if you've been struggling with sticking to your healthy ways, this could be the nudge you need. It's worth giving it a shot, so try weighing yourself daily for a month or two and see what happens. Just be sure to weigh yourself at the same time every day, such as in the morning after you use the bathroom and before jumping in the shower. Use the same scale every time and it might be worth investing in one that also tracks your body mass index (BMI).