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How often should you weigh yourself when attaining fitness goals?

Updated: May 1, 2022

Early this week I had a conversation with a new client who recently joined my tier one marvel membership. One of his goals is weight loss and he told me his father suggested he check his weight every morning before breakfast. So, my question to you is how often do think this person should weigh themselves? There is not a right or wrong answer per se, but I will give you my take on this question.

I believe daily weigh-ins for beginners will increase the chances of the person failing. We as human creatures generally need instant gratification, and you will see little change when weighing yourself daily. Even if you understand that the weight loss goal is a journey, seeing little change daily could be depressing. Let me give you an example.

A pound of fat equals 3500 calories. Let’s say your daily caloric intake is 3500 calories. If you expend 4000 calories a day this would leave you with a negative balance of 500 calories. If you repeat this daily for a week {7x(-500)} it would equate to -3500 weekly which is 1 pound of fat. In other words, if you weigh 200 pounds, by the end of the week your weight would be 199. But during the week theoretically, you would still be 200 pounds.

For a person who understands the weight loss journey, they could weigh themselves daily and not get discouraged by looking at the positives. Positives such as “I’m not gaining weight” or “weighing myself helps keep me motivated”. For someone who does not understand the journey or is new to the world of fitness & nutrition is more likely to get discouraged. Daily weigh-ins for beginners can be too incremental.

There are arguments to support both points of view. This blog is me speaking from my experience in helping people reach their fitness goals. Mentally if you have decided to tackle your fitness goals then very little will stop you from achieving them. For people who are not mentally ready, daily weigh-ins could be too aggressive. My suggestion would be to do it weekly; this gives the person time to see the results which then will give them more motivation to continue. If you or someone you know needs assistance in reaching specific fitness goals, please contact me.

N'Namdi Nelson, M.B.A, CSCS, ACSM-EP, PES, CES

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