A lot of people find that if they begin self-weighing frequently, they start to hear from the people around them – friends, family members and even doctors – who tell them that this is not a good behavior and that anyone who steps on the scale too much will only hold themselves back. It’s true that there has been a widely accepted belief for decades that has indicated that it is best not to weigh yourself any more than once per week if you want to reach your goals.
In fact, in many circles, it is believed that self-weighing shouldn’t be done any more than once per month. The reasoning is that fat levels don’t shift as much as other issues that can change our body weight. Therefore, by stepping onto the scale every day of the week, you may be thinking that you’re doing great or that you’re doing horribly with your diet, when you’re actually just measuring the natural gain and loss of water by the body, which can make it seem as though you have more or less fat on your body than is actually the case.
That said, there is a movement that is starting to shift away from that limiting of self-weighing and that is starting to encourage dieters to do it more frequently. The reasoning behind this though is that the scale can be an exceptionally motivational tool. Being able to monitor yourself and use data feedback can continually offer a dieter fresh drive to keep up the efforts that are successful or to boost their efforts when they haven’t received the results they want.
Research has been supporting this concept. A recent study has shown that frequent weighing, particularly when done consistently, will have a positive impact on the dieter’s self confidence in their efforts to continue losing weight. This, in turn, can have a positive impact on the ability to keep up the efforts and come ever closer to achieving the final weight goal to be maintained.
The study was conducted by a team at the Connell School of Nursing at Boston College, under the lead researcher, Yaguang Zheng. It tracked 148 different people over a period of 12 months in which their behaviors were tracked and they were grouped according to the frequency with which they were stepping on the scale as they attempted to drop the pounds.
The group that weighed themselves frequently but consistently – that is, those who consistently weighed themselves six days per week throughout the length of the study – were those that lost the largest amount of weight. Those that weighed themselves the least frequently or the least consistently were the ones who were most likely to slack on their dieting efforts.