- First thing in the morning before breakfast is the ideal time to step on the scale
- Healthcare providers stress consistency is key when it comes to weight tracking
- READ MORE: Why you shouldn’t exercise with a partner, according to science
If you are looking to shed pounds, chances are you’ve cut calories, stepped up your exercise routine and began tracking your weight.
But just as important as how your track your weight is when you take its measurement.
Weight-loss experts have revealed there is an ideal time of day to step on the scale – and that staying consistent could help you with your fitness goal.
Dr Mert Erogul, a bariatric physician specializing in obesity in New York City, and Dr Neil Floch, a bariatric surgeon in Connecticut, both said it is best to weigh yourself first thing in the morning after you’ve gone to the bathroom and before you’ve had anything to eat or drink.
And because weight can change over the course of the day, stepping on the scale at the same time is important to accurately track progress.
Several studies have shown that consistently tracking your weight is associated with greater weight loss
Dr Erogul said: ‘Weight can fluctuate during the day, so, it’s good to pick the same time each day to weigh yourself.’
Dr Floch told Yahoo Life: ‘When you wake up in the morning, you’re dehydrated because you haven’t been drinking during the night. Then, you go to the bathroom and pee out the fluid. If you have a bowel movement, you could lose another quarter of a pound to a pound from that.
‘So this is when you will be at your lowest weight. Then, once you get dressed, eat breakfast and have something to drink, your weight is going to go up slightly.’
The doctors’ advice is supported by science.
Several studies have shown that weighing yourself on a regular basis leads to greater weight loss.
A 2019 study found people who measured their weight daily experienced more weight loss when compared to people who did not regularly track the metric.
A separate 2017 study that analyzed how self-monitoring contributed to weight loss found there were more positive outcomes when people followed a combination of consistent behaviors, such as weighing themselves regularly and logging their nutrition.
In addition to using a scale, employing the help of other tools like smartwatches, fitness apps and website trackers, was also associated with greater weight loss when compared to people who used written tracking methods, a 2021 study found.
The Cleveland Clinic added it is important to wear the same thing when you take your weight to get the most accurate comparison – ideally weighing yourself naked.
You should also use the same scale every time, as there could be slight differences between machines.
If weighing yourself every day doesn’t work for you, the Cleveland Clinic said you can track your weight one day per week, but advised keeping a regular schedule.
Because people may be less consistent with a diet and exercise plan over the weekend, weighing yourself on a Monday may not be the most accurate measurement – and there could be a big difference between your weight on a Friday after four days of more healthy habits.
The healthcare giant recommends choosing one day per week – Wednesday – to step on the scale.