When we start dieting we become weight watchers. Most of us want to get thin fast and obsess over every calorie consumed, every pound lost or gained. Through this obsession we turn to the trusty weighing scale as either our closest friend or most feared enemy. Some people check their weight religiously, continually monitoring every little change whilst others check rarely hiding in fear of the results. But how often is it advisable to weigh yourself? Everyday or once a week? Here are some thoughts...
Taking your weight daily can help with your determination because you have the continual pressure motivating you to meet your goal. The scale will be there as a constant daily reminder to control your diet and focus on losing the weight. Seeing your daily progress can also help you evaluate the effectiveness of your chosen diet. Some people may respond very well to this intense approach to monitoring their weight, however for others there could be several disadvantages.
For many people a daily regime of weight-checks can lead to what is sometimes known as "scale obsession". There is a good chance of becoming discouraged by the fluctuating numbers - due to factors such as water retention body weight can vary by as much as five pounds throughout the day. Hence it is important to try to minimize this fluctuation by weighing yourself at the same time everyday.
Also by weighing yourself daily you risk getting "too close to the problem" you end up so focused on the daily changes you become unable to see the genuine progress you're making. Your body just doesn't change that much over 24 hours and it can be easy to lose track of how the small losses are adding up.
We can also bring ourselves down if we aren't seeing what we consider to be significant progress, and all this stress and worry about our weight can lead to us getting depressed. And we know that when people get depressed they'll often turn to food for comfort. We eat our depression away and end up in a worse position than we started from. Not too helpful.
Weighing yourself once a week doesn't provide the instant gratification (or disappointment) of weighing yourself daily, but it should mean that you're seeing actual progress which can be very satisfying. If you start seeing your effort pay off in this way it can be a very rewarding and motivating experience.
Without the constant nagging of the scale you'll have a more worry-free diet and less pressure. You can focus on your diet, but at the same time still be more at ease when you eat. If you have a tiny slip-up there can still be time to get back on track before the scale hands down it's judgment.
However this is also one of the downsides of weekly weigh-ins - it's easy to postpone things till tomorrow. You might end up being less strict with your diet just because you keep thinking you "still have time" till the weekly scale challange... And then it takes a lot more willpower to deal with failure to lose weight during a week, or even just lose less then you have expected.
Weighing yourself daily is great at the beginning of the Dukan diet where the quick impact of the Attack phase can be observed daily. However as you get into a routine and your weight loss slows down to a healthy rate you might move to the weekly regime.
|May cause obsessive behaviour.||Focus on dieting without the daily distraction of the scales.|
|Instant feedback - both positive and negative.||False feeling of security, because you "still have time".|
|Can hide real weigh-loss due to daily weight fluctuation.||Closer to real-weight loss as the bigger weekly numbers are further from the error margin.|
|Better at the start of a diet.||Better once your weight loss slows down.|
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