Body Transformation Preliminaries — Weighing Yourself

January 15, 2013


How to Accurately Weigh Yourself

Body Weight Scale

People that are successful in losing weight and keeping it off weigh themselves regularly.  Now, why would that be a trait of successful weight losers?  Before answering that question, think about this: some people go to the doctor on a yearly or bi-yearly basis for a checkup.  Why do they go for the checkup?  Answer: To make sure that everything is functioning ok; to make sure that nothing is wrong.  Similarly, successful weight losers give themselves regular weight “checkups”.  Why?  Because it tells them whether or not everything with their weight loss is ok.  It tells them whether or not anything with their weight loss effort is wrong.  If the person is trying to lose or maintain weight and the scale tells them that their weight is the same or less this week in comparison to last week, everything is ok.  But if the scale shows a weight gain, then it tells them that something might be wrong.  If the scale shows an upward trend over a few weeks, then they know something is wrong and corrective action is in order.  So, the scale is the successful weight loser’s security guard or sentinel.  It sounds the alarm when unwanted fat tries to launch a sneak attack.  Weighing yourself is vital to knowing where you are weight-wise.


There’s right and a not-so-right (or less accurate) way to weigh yourself.  Did you know that?  Yep, there sure is.  Why is that?  It’s because your body weight fluctuates throughout each day and during the course of each week, and those frequent fluctuations make it difficult to determine what your body weight is.  So, you use the “right” way of weighing yourself to get the most consistent, accurate body weight you can.


Your body’s weight fluctuations can be due to how much you’ve eaten recently, how much you’ve drunk, how much exercise you’ve gotten, and over the course of a week, how much fat and/or muscle and/or water you’ve lost or gained.  It is possible to gain many POUNDS of water weight in a day.  It’s also possible to lose many pounds of water weight in a short period of time.  With all of these possible factors influencing your body weight, how can you tell if a lower or higher weight is truly due to a loss or gain in body fat and/or muscle?  The answer: By minimizing the outside factors and looking at trends.


To minimize the outside factors, you should pick an “official” weigh day.  You can weigh yourself as many times as you like during a week, but have only one official weigh day.  On that official day, choose a specific time to weigh yourself.  That time will be your weigh time each week on your official day.  In addition to weighing yourself at about the same time on the same day each week, you want to make sure that you weigh yourself under similar conditions each week.


What are those “similar conditions”?  You want to have on the same clothes or lack of clothes; you should have either used the restroom or not used it; and you should have either eaten the same meal or you should weigh on an empty stomach.  Since the amount of food I’ve eaten and the amount of wastes my body is carrying can easily vary, I prefer to weigh in the morning after waking, on an empty stomach, after I’ve used the restroom.  My recommendation is that you follow the same weighing protocol.  Oh, and you should use the same scale each week too.


Speaking of scales, they sometimes can fluctuate in how much they say you weigh.  You might step on the scale one moment, and it tells you that your weight is 185.  Then, you step off the scale and step right back on and it says your weight is 187.  What should you do in this case?  Well, if it fits in your budget, get another scale.  Go to and look at different body weight scales.  Read the comments on the ones you’re interested in, and make sure the comments either say that the scale is accurate, or make sure that the comments do NOT say that the scale is inaccurate or fluctuates every time you step off and step back on it.


If you don’t want to get a new scale and your current scale fluctuates its readings when you step on and step off of it, then each time you weigh, step on and off and back on the scale so that you get 3 consecutive readings.  Take the average of those readings, and use that as your official weight.


Lastly, weigh yourself week after week, and look at the trend of your weight.  Is it trending upwards, downwards, or staying the same.  That trend will tell you if you are truly losing weight or not.


In summary, the ideal way to weigh yourself is under the following conditions:

* Same day each week

* Same time of day

* In the morning after waking

* On an empty stomach (no food or drink)

* After using the restroom

* No clothing

* Same scale each week

* Pay attention to your weight trend over the course of several weeks

Use this weighing method on your first official weigh day this weekend, and then on all following weekends.  This way, you’ll know what your body is doing weight-wise.  Obtaining your body weight this way, and combining that information with your body fat percentage (which I’ll cover in a post very soon) will give you a clear picture of what your body composition is doing (losing, gaining, or maintaining fat and/or muscle).

— Darryl

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