Do you dread stepping on the scales? Are your health and fitness goals centred around losing a precise number of kilos? You may be wondering how often you should weigh yourself and how to interpret the readings. Don’t worry – we’re here to let you in on a few overlooked truths about your trusty bathroom scales.

First things first, it’s important to note that you should never rely on the scales alone to track the success of your weight loss journey. Although it can feel amazing to see the readings on the scale diminish, factors such as water retention and muscle development can contribute to higher readings even if you have lost a considerable amount of fat.

In this way, it is helpful to combine the scales with other kinds of measuring tools such as a tape measure to assess how well your diet and fitness regime is working. If you have been gradually increasing the amount of exercise you do every week, for example, you may notice that your waist size goes down despite minimal weight loss. This is because muscle is heavier than fat.

It should also be noted that your weight can fluctuate significantly on a day to day basis due to a number of factors such as how much you have eaten at a particular time or even how many clothes you are wearing. To help you use your scales as effectively as possible, we’ve put together a few tips for timing your weighing sessions:

1. Try to weigh yourself only once a week

If you’re excited about starting a new diet regime, it can be tempting to step on the scales every single day. However, this is not a good idea. A person’s weight will naturally fluctuate from day to day, so weighing yourself at the same time every week and tracking your progress over the long term will provide a more accurate view of how your body is changing.

2. Step on the scales in the morning

Try not to weigh yourself after eating a meal or drinking a cup of coffee. Stepping on the scales with a full stomach can lead to inaccurate readings that will not reflect the full extent of your progress.

3. Be aware of other factors that may affect the reading of your scales

If you want to track your progress accurately, you must take into account the variables that can affect the numbers on the scale. For example, if you start your fitness regime by weighing yourself without any clothes and then switch to weighing yourself with a heavy outfit on, you will not have a true idea of your progress. You should also, as mentioned above, weigh yourself at the same time of day and, if you go to the toilet before weighing yourself, continue to do this for subsequent weigh-ins.

4. Consider ditching your weigh-ins completely

If you find that your weekly weigh-ins are failing to produce the results that you hoped for, try ditching the scales and focusing on leading a healthier lifestyle. Although the scales represent a helpful tool for tracking health and fitness, they are by no means the only solution. Sometimes, simple measurements such as how well your clothes fit, how energised you feel, or how toned your body feels can be better indicators of health than your weight.

To sum up, weighing yourself should be a minor, regular part of your fitness regime if you choose to do it all. If you take a measured, realistic approach to the scales, you will never dread stepping on them again!