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Why Are Weekly Weigh-ins Important?

Someone standing on the bathroom scales. There are many ways to measure success that don't depend on the scales.

If your goal is to lose, maintain or gain weight (so pretty much all of us then), research suggests that the best day of the week to check in on your weight is a Wednesday. My nutrition programmes involve weekly weigh-ins so I can support my clients as much as possible. So why do we do it? 

A recent research study which weighed 40 people every day for a whole year found that Wednesdays generally gave a much more consistent reading of a person’s true weight. Before and after the weekend, weigh-ins showed more dramatic gains and losses due to the weekend eating and drinking habits most of us fall into.

Whilst some people advise you to ditch the scales completely because they don’t tell you the full picture (true), I personally believe there’s still value in weighing yourself regularly. Research also backs up that there is a strong link between regular weigh-ins and successful weight management. Studies show that when people stop weighing all together, they’re more likely to gain weight. Leaving long periods of time between weigh-ins tends to mean an even larger weight gain.

What are the benefits of regular weigh-ins? 

Many people dread getting on the scales because they’re afraid of what the numbers will tell them or because they worry that their results have plateaued. However, there are several benefits of weekly weigh-ins, even if you don’t see the results you were hoping for:

  • Keep you accountable
  • Track your progress and any fluctuations
  • Show how your diet/habits are affecting your body and your progress towards your goals
  • Enable you to stay focused on long-term goals

If weighing yourself weekly affects your moods or emotions negatively, there may be some underlying issues that a nutrition coach can help you with. There’s no judgement on my part, just support. So please don’t ever feel nervous about weighing yourself, even if you don’t feel a sense of achievement. Progress isn’t linear, after all. 

How to weigh yourself properly 

The key to accurately tracking your progress is consistency and having a routine when it comes to weighing yourself. This should involve:

  • Using the same scales
  • Weighing yourself on the same day of the week at the same time of day
  • Wearing the same clothing (if any)

My advice would be to weigh in every Wednesday morning upon waking, during your first visit to the bathroom, wearing no clothes. Make sure you write down/take a picture or record your weight in your notes on your phone.

Although it’s important not to become obsessed with that number on the scales, regular weigh-ins can play an important role in helping you achieve your fitness and nutrition goals.

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