Screen Readers Skip to Content

How Often Should You Weigh Yourself When Dieting

Synopsis: Study looks at how often you should use weighing scales to measure your body weight when going on a diet.1

Author: Cornell Food and Brand Lab2 Contact: Sandra Cuellar: foodandbrandlab@cornell.edu

Published: 2014-12-18 Updated: 2020-11-05

Key Points:

The average time that participants could go between weighting without gaining weight was 5.8 days or about a weekly weigh-in.

A previous study by the same research team found that your weight naturally fluctuates throughout the week and that most people weigh the least on Wednesday.

Main Digest

Stepping on the scale is common among dieters but how does the frequency of weigh-ins impact weight?

A new study in PLOS ONE showed that the more frequently dieters weighed themselves the more weight they lost, and if participants went more than a week without weighing themselves, they gained weight.

The researchers analyzed 2,838 weight measurements (up to a years' worth of weigh-ins) from 40 overweight individuals (with a body mass index of 25 and over) who indicated that weight loss was a personal goal or concern.

This is an illustration of previous findings about weight by the research team. Picture Credit: Daniel Miller.
This is an illustration of previous findings about weight by the research team. Picture Credit: Daniel Miller.

Related Weight Loss

The researchers found that weight loss was related to how often individuals weighed themselves.

"The more often you weigh yourself the more weight you lose," says to lead author Elina Helander from Tempere Univeristy of Technology in Finland.

This observational study cannot prove causation - it may be that less serious dieters weight themselves less or that dieters who stop losing weight stop weighting themselves.

The average time that participants could go between weighting without gaining weight was 5.8 days or about a weekly weigh-in.

Weigh yourself at least once a week if you wish to lose weight, and weighing yourself everyday may help you stay on track.

A previous study by the same research team found that your weight naturally fluctuates throughout the week and that most people weigh the least on Wednesday.

To summarize both studies Brian Wansink, PhD, Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab and author of Slim by Design: Mind Eating Solutions for Everyday Life advises;

The bottom line is, if you want to lose weight, it's best to weigh yourself every day. But if you weigh yourself only once a week, do it on Wednesday because that will give you the most accurate reading.

2Source/Reference: Cornell Food and Brand Lab (Sandra Cuellar: foodandbrandlab@cornell.edu). Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith. Content may have been edited for style, clarity or length.

Related Documents


Disclaimer: Disabled World is strictly a news and information website provided for general informational purpose only and does not constitute medical advice. Materials presented are in no way meant to be a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.

Disclosure: Disabled World is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Any 3rd party offering or advertising on disabled-world.com does not constitute endorsement by Disabled World. View our Advertising Policy for further information.

Cite Page:

Journal: Disabled World. Language: English (U.S.). Author: Cornell Food and Brand Lab. Electronic Publication Date: 2014-12-18. Last Revised Date: 2020-11-05. Reference Title: How Often Should You Weigh Yourself When Dieting, Source: <a href=https://www.disabled-world.com/fitness/diets/weigh.php>How Often Should You Weigh Yourself When Dieting</a>. Abstract: Study looks at how often you should use weighing scales to measure your body weight when going on a diet. Retrieved 2021-02-26, from https://www.disabled-world.com/fitness/diets/weigh.php - Reference Category Number: DW#261-11016.