A weight loss plan can be a great success by adopting simple methods to follow your routine and track your weight.
A 2013 study concluded that when people who had recently lost weight were encouraged to weigh themselves regularly helped prevent some weight regain.1
Self-weighing has shown positive outcomes and can be very motivating if done in the right manner. But at what time is your weight most accurate? Why should this worry us? Let us understand this in detail.
At What Time Is Your Weight Most Accurate?
A previous study was done in 2008 also confirmed that self-weighing can be a good predictor of weight loss and can help reduce or prevent weight gain in adults. However, it also raised a concern about the right dose of self-weighing, considering the risk of negative consequences.2
This means, that although weighing yourself regularly can be helpful in weight loss you need to mitigate the risk of negative outcomes, particularly those which are beyond your control. This can be achieved when the factors influencing weight fluctuations during weight loss are controlled and self-weighing is done appropriately. One of the greatest factors to keep in mind during self-weighing is the time when you weigh yourself. So, at what time is your weight most accurate?
Your weight fluctuates throughout the day and also shows variations during weekdays and weekends or holidays.3 In some, seasonal variations are also seen. Most of these fluctuations in your weight are attributed to your dietary intake, physical activity levels, and overall approach to following a healthy routine. Experts advise compensation of calorie intake and activity levels when fluctuations are noted over a short period, to avoid making them long-term habits. Thus, various factors influence your weight at different times, hence, knowing when to weigh yourself and adopting simple strategies is important.
If you are wondering what time is your weight most accurate, it is usually in the mornings when your stomach is empty. But more than the time, it is the consistency that matters. Comparatively, morning times have fewer influences but certain morning functions do play a key role. Keeping those in mind, even if it is mornings, measuring the weight under the same conditions is important.
Simply said, if you want to compare your weight with your previous weight, weigh yourself at the same time in the same way as you did previously. Thus, more than considering at what time is your weight most accurate you need to consider what time you can eliminate influential factors and consistently follow the same pattern.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering what time your weight is the most accurate.
In the morning, when you wake up, your stomach is empty as you do not have food overnight. It is also good to empty your bladder the first thing in the morning and clear your bowels, if possible. For many, this is a suitable time when the weight is the most accurate, particularly if you weigh similarly every time. Some people prefer having a bath and wearing fresh clothes before checking their weight.
It is important to know that the influence of food, drinks, exercise, and medicines can be reduced when you weigh yourself in the morning. So, weigh yourself before you begin with these activities and then follow the same pattern every time.
It is also important to know that sometimes, morning time may be troublesome, especially for those with joint problems, hormonal issues, or water retention problems.
People having morning stiffness, swelling in the joints, bloating, or water retention the weight may be more in the morning due to the swelling. In such cases, you may have to find a time when there is no bloating and the joints are not stiff or swollen, or as advised by your doctor.
Frequency of Weighing
How often to weigh is another question in the minds of weigh-watchers. Experts suggest weighing once a week. Some studies have also shown that weighing every day can help you stay motivated. But considering daily variations and the risks of getting discouraged if there is no weight loss on some days, you may want to weigh yourself at regular intervals rather than every day.
Make sure that you weigh yourself at the same time and in the same manner, so again consistency is the key. Consistency begins from the very basics – the weighing scale and the place where it is kept should be the same every time. It is recommended that you use a digital weighing scale and make sure it is placed on a firm, level floor and avoid keeping it on an uneven floor, two tiles at once, or on a carpet.4
The way you stand on the weighing scale, without shoes, with minimal clothes, and before or after a bath does matter. With an empty stomach and bladder, without having any food or water, you are likely to get an accurate weight. It is better to weigh before exercising or doing the household chores as that does have an impact on your weight. It can very well be a part of your morning routine if you follow these consistencies.
Thus, consistency is the key to follow measuring weight at the same time, in the same manner, and preferably when you are empty. Remember to avoid weighing when you are full like just after a meal, as you will weigh more or after a strenuous workout or sports, or when you are ill as you are likely to weigh less from sweating or other fluid loss. Hence, when you weigh in the morning, do it before you eat or do any physical exercise and measure the way every time. Use the same weighing scale and keep it in the same place that is most convenient for you. With these consistencies in self-weighing, your weight will be most accurate.