how long can you go between weigh ins when trying to lose weight?

This may be a better topic for debate, but it really is related to weight loss.

I've lost/regained/lost/regained a couple times in the past, and am really trying to analyze what went wrong previously. Part of it is I get *too* obsessed with what my weight is, either get way too restrictive because the weight is not coming off the way I want it to, then have huge cravings. then get frustrated and throw in the towel. or I start out strong, lose a bunch of weight, and then as the weight loss slows (as I know it will, but my irrational side takes over), get super frustrated and mad that I can't eat whatever I want (yes, I know, not rational to be mad at physics).

This time around, I'm really trying to focus on how I feel, and already, things seem different. I feel really great, sleeping well, have more energy, feel satisfied. I literally do not have any strong cravings. I was able to eat one scoop of ice cream without feeling like "MORE!! I want MORE!!" I think because I really am being so much more mindful.

I have to log my food, because if I don't, I just don't eat mindfully. I'm hoping maybe at some point, I can eat thoughtfully and mindfully and not overeat, but not now for sure.

But, I really don't want to weigh myself. I know I feel better, and suspect I've lost a couple pounds this first week. I realize that I have to weigh myself at some point, because my calories will change as I lose. but I'm hoping maybe I can just do it once/month?

thoughts?

Replies

  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,784 Member
    It's a much discussed question here, including in Debate Club**.

    I think the answer is individual. Some people are stressed by fluctuations when weighing in daily, or find that it makes them obsessive. They probably shouldn't weigh daily. Among those, some will be OK with weekly, monthly, or never (the latter usually using tape measure, photos, clothes fit or something else as a way to gauge progress).

    Other people - I'm one - are kind of data geeks who find it interesting and informative to see the fluctuations from day to day, and don't find them stressful. Personally, after doing daily weigh ins with a graph or weight trending app for a while, I found I had a decent understanding of what caused random-looking scale fluctuations, how long they'd be likely to last, and that sort of thing. For me, that knowledge was reassuring. I know that if I didn't eat enough more, or move enough less (at 3500 calories per fat pound!) to cause a measurable fat gain, cumulatively, then a jump on the scale wasn't likely to be fat.

    I don't think either of those approaches is more correct, more necessary, healthier, or anything like that. I think it's personal choice/personal taste - whatever works best for each person.

    If you haven't read it yet, I found this helpful as a source of perspective on fluctuations:

    https://physiqonomics.com/the-weird-and-highly-annoying-world-of-scale-weight-and-fluctuations

    If you want to weigh once a month, or even less, do that. A thing to be aware of, with longer intervals, is that there can be weird cases where weigh-in #1 is at a down-fluctuation, and weigh-in #2 is at a down-fluctuation, making it look like fat loss isn't happening (or is happening more slowly) when everything is fine. For that reason, I'd tend to suggest two things (1) using tape measure or clothes-fit as an alternate metric in addition, and (2) if a premenopausal woman, make it a point to weigh at the same relative point in each menstrual cycle, because hormonal water weight shifts can be pretty significant, for some women.

    Best wishes!


    ** https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10810661/is-it-a-good-idea-to-weigh-yourself-every-day/p1
  • Justin_7272
    Justin_7272 Posts: 338 Member
    I weigh myself everyday to be honest with myself, knowing there will be fluctuation (for example if I'm 170 day 1 and 173 day 2 I know I didn't gain 3 pounds in a day, just like if I'm 170 day 1 and 167 day 2 know I didn't lose 3 pounds in a day). I know that doesn't work for a lot of people - daily anxiety can be a real thing, and if the numbers aren't where you want them it can lead to giving up or disordered eating. Weight loss trend apps like Libra can curtail the anxiety as you see weight loss over time, not just looking at one day to the next.

    I think a lot of people prefer weekly weigh ins (I think this is promoted by WW). I would think weighing in weekly could cause the same anxiety, for example if you went up 3 pounds. Weekly weigh ins may help with goal settings, i.e. I will aim to be 3 lbs lighter next week. But again, the fluctuations are still there and can lead to giving up. That's why I suggest using a trend app.

    If I were to change my methods, I wouldn't go longer than once a week; a lot can happen in a month and having a better bearing on where you are on a more regular basis is a plus.
  • mom2kateRH
    mom2kateRH Posts: 178 Member
    Thanks! This is helpful
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 777 Member
    edited January 10
    I weigh mostly when I can tell that my weight has changed. I go by the fit of non-stretch clothes.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,611 Member
    I have the best success when I weigh daily.

    Also, trending apps are more accurate with more data, which supports daily weighing.
  • jamcnewman
    jamcnewman Posts: 1,229 Member
    @mom2kateRH
    Hi there - I weigh in once a month at my doctor’s office and I don’t weigh myself in between. This works well for me.
  • Deviette
    Deviette Posts: 979 Member
    I have used various methods. I used to weigh once a week, I used to weight on the fly (aka only when I was feeling "light"; whatever that means), I now weigh every day. All those methods "worked", in the sense that they recorded what my weight was at that moment in time.

    I find that 'data' people like daily weighing (this is me). For some, the scale weight isn't a motivator and so weighing isn't really that helpful aside to evaluate progress. For others it is a motivator, but can make them obsess and so more time between weigh ins is normally a good idea. Some find scale weight motivating, but daily fluctuations not so, so choose something like weekly weigh ins.

    At the end of the day there is no absolute 'best' way to weigh yourself. You just need to find the one that works best for you. Be it every day, one a week, once a month, never, or something in between.
  • callsitlikeiseeit
    callsitlikeiseeit Posts: 8,633 Member
    there is no one 'right' answer. Do what is best for YOU.

    I weigh daily now, and have for the past year or so, and use a trending app. I record it on mfp weekly.
    I used to weigh weekly.
    I take my measurements monthly.
  • ReenieHJ
    ReenieHJ Posts: 9,511 Member
    I feel like I could've written your whole post, right down to the irrational feelings. :)

    Knowing what I weigh can do such a psychological number on me, going both possible ways. If I lose, I feel great and stick to it OR need that treat to reward myself. If I gain or don't lose, most likely I get down on myself and throw in the towel too easily. It is who I am. :(

    ATM, I'm just sticking to a plan and waiting for my jeans to start fitting the way they used to again. Twenty pounds gained over 3-4 months sure makes a difference so I'm going to be patient and avoid the scales for awhile yet. I need to feel my feet firmly planted in these new habits before I can let anything in to tempt me one way or another. I do have kind of a starting figure because I went to the dr. a week or so before Christmas so my (re)starting weight is near that number. :) I'm sure I packed on a couple more #'s over Christmas. :/

    So, as people mentioned, it's definitely an individual thing. :)

    Good luck!!!
  • mom2kateRH
    mom2kateRH Posts: 178 Member
    thanks all! good conversation, and obviously,no one right answer. I think for me personally, less frequent weigh ins will ultimately be better for me. will likely do monthly. We'll see how it goes. I just want to do something different this time around, so I don't repeat my cycle of losing weight only to regain it. I have to break the cycle somehow!
  • fitishbyfifty
    fitishbyfifty Posts: 23 Member
    I get on the scale everyday. I try not to consider it “official” except for once a week. Usually Friday or Saturday
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 777 Member
    mom2kateRH wrote: »
    thanks all! good conversation, and obviously,no one right answer. I think for me personally, less frequent weigh ins will ultimately be better for me. will likely do monthly. We'll see how it goes. I just want to do something different this time around, so I don't repeat my cycle of losing weight only to regain it. I have to break the cycle somehow!

    I just ordered Like A Glove pants, which digitally measure your size, as an alternative to the scale.
  • nanastaci2020
    nanastaci2020 Posts: 1,041 Member
    There is no right answer. It really depends on how you react to the scale. There are other things you can do besides using the scale to track progress. Buy a next size down pair of jeans and try them on the 1st of next month. If they don't fit yet, repeat the month later.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,784 Member
    mom2kateRH wrote: »
    thanks all! good conversation, and obviously,no one right answer. I think for me personally, less frequent weigh ins will ultimately be better for me. will likely do monthly. We'll see how it goes. I just want to do something different this time around, so I don't repeat my cycle of losing weight only to regain it. I have to break the cycle somehow!

    If you're a premenopausal woman, I'd strongly encourage you to make that a hormonal-cycle month, rather than a calendar month. For example, first or last day of period. If you track cycles more precisely, any point is OK. Exactly when lowest weight will occur (hormonally speaking) differs by individual, so it's hard to give suggestions about that.
  • goal06082021
    goal06082021 Posts: 2,115 Member
    Last year I weighed in weekly. Once I got to Onederland (and got my period back, gulldurnrassafrassin...) I started weighing daily - ostensibly to get a better idea of how I fluctuate day-to-day and throughout the month, but if I'm honest, seeing that "1XX" on the scale was incredibly motivating, too.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,872 Member
    edited January 10
    There really isn't an answer and there aren't any rules. I weigh in two or three times per week usually, and take the average as "my weight"
  • mom2kateRH
    mom2kateRH Posts: 178 Member
    I think I'm going to get those like a glove pants!!!
  • sbelletti
    sbelletti Posts: 123 Member
    Why not use a daily log of how you "feel" and then a weekly or even monthly log for scale weight? Photos can be helpful too, so snap a pic every few weeks. I have "Honesty Jeans" with no stretch so even when the scale doesn't move, I can see/feel that they are fitting better.
  • mom2kateRH
    mom2kateRH Posts: 178 Member
    sbelletti wrote: »
    Why not use a daily log of how you "feel" and then a weekly or even monthly log for scale weight? Photos can be helpful too, so snap a pic every few weeks. I have "Honesty Jeans" with no stretch so even when the scale doesn't move, I can see/feel that they are fitting better.

    I've been trying to do that this month! I have a journal I keep at my bedside, and try and write in it daily how I'm feeling. I don't always get to it, but I try.
  • ashverdo
    ashverdo Posts: 12 Member
    It’s up to you. I used to weigh daily but honestly it’s pointless lol. I can take a poop and be down .8 lbs. I can sip water and be up .8 lbs. “But the downward trend!” It will trend down regardless of you are adhering to your calorie limits.

    I weigh weekly when I’m changing my calorie amounts to make sure everything is good. Beyond that I weight monthly or sometimes longer. I also use jeans as a measure and actual measurements. Like you I get obsessed and this helps me.