You Weigh Yourself Daily
Credit: ABC News
The verdict: No worries! Really!
Now, we're not suggesting that you step on the scale every 15 minutes: Body weight can fluctuate by several pounds throughout the day, and watching it bounce up and down like the stock market will drive you bonkers. And it may not help you actually lose weight, according to a recent review of research in The New England Journal of Medicine.
But weighing in once a day, in the morning, after you pee and before you put on your clothes, can be a smart way to keep tabs on whether you've been gaining over time, says Rena Wing, PhD, professor of psychiatry at Brown University and director of the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center at the Miriam Hospital in Providence, R.I., home of the National Weight Control Registry—a database of more than 10,000 people who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for at least a year.
About 36 percent of people in the NWCR weigh themselves every day. The trick is to approach the scale as a source of data, not judgment, Wing notes. So even if you're up a smidge, don't let it tank your day. "Daily weigh-ins allow you to detect small changes before they become big changes," Dr. Wing says. "If you're up 1 pound, you can adjust your eating for a few days and lose it. If you're up 10 pounds, that's going to take some time and work."