To Weigh Or Not To Weigh – That Is The Psychologically Torturous Question

Should you weigh yourself?

If you’re trying to lose weight, should you weigh yourself daily?

Is the bathroom scale a helpful gauge of your progress? Or an instrument of mental torture?

For many people trying to lose weight, it’s the latter.

A disappointing number on the scale can undo your day, your diet, your determination to exercise and eat well.

So it’s worth looking at your attitude before you leap on the scale.

Weight-Loss-Friendly Weighing

It’s fine to weigh yourself if:

  • You’re at your goal weight and you simply want to check that you’re staying within a healthy weight zone
  • You weigh yourself no more than once a week to chart long-term progress.

If neither of these apply, then weighing yourself can be psychologically counter-productive. I suggest you only do it if:

  • You genuinely see the numbers on the scale purely as information, not as an excuse to beat yourself up
  • You genuinely understand that weight loss/gain is not necessarily fat loss/gain, and can also reflect muscle, water, and other factors
  • You genuinely realize that fluctuations are to be expected, and that long-term trend is what matters.

If you don’t have this mind-set (and let’s be honest, few of us do), then the numbers on the scale can be your foe, not your friend.

Non-Weight Weight-Loss Goals

For most of us then, daily weigh-ins are too psychologically fraught to be a good idea.

So what’s the alternative?

In my 52 Weight Loss Missions program (see the weight-loss Missions here) I recommend measuring your progress against a non-weight goal, such as fitting into a favorite pair of jeans. You’ll still be able to notice improvement and enjoy your progress, but without the emotional roller-coaster of the number of the scale.

What do you think?

Do you do the daily weigh-in?

Does it work for you?

by Michele Connolly

Michele Connolly helps people move from procrastination to action. She believes that taking action on your priorities makes you a happier person. Michele is the founder of Get Organized Wizard and creator of tools for business, home, and personal organization. Her programs are used by tens of thousands of people worldwide.

  • Audrey Aronson Myers

    I weigh myself each Monday morning. I think everyday does not take in the fluctuations of water retention and diet.

  • Daree Allen

    I weigh in once a week, and am in the losing phase. I will probably continue when I reach my goal and go into maintenance.

    What means the most to me is seeing changes in problem areas (which I could easily track with measuring tape, but I don’t). I see my profile in the mirror at the gym or naked at home and I know I’m making progress, even before I put my jeans on and find them looser. :)