The temptation to incessantly step on the scale makes sense, when losing weight is top of mind: You’re eating healthier, moving more throughout the day and maybe need to justify your hard work so you’ll stay motivated. We get why you do it, but if you weigh yourself every day, stop now. This could be the best advice for weight loss you’ve ever heard.
Here are three major reasons not to weigh yourself everyday:
1. Daily weigh-ins don’t accurately indicate weight loss.
Not only can the number on that scale fluctuate from day to day, but it may even swing between morning and night—and that is perfectly normal. “People think they’re gaining fat when they see (their weight) creep up a bit, but that’s not always the case,” says Chelsea Lovell, weight loss counselor at Nutrisystem. Lovell explains that water retention is one of the main reasons weight fluctuates. High sodium intake, for example, may cause your body to retain more fluid. Women may also put on water weight during their menstrual cycle, she adds. So, hormones may tip the scale just like the size of a meal.
2. Fluctuating numbers can mess with your mindset.
It can be discouraging to see the scale go up and down, according to Lovell—no matter how many times you tell yourself its normal. Experts at the Mayo Clinic relay that the scale’s disappointing news can be particularly frustrating when you try to eat right and exercise. This event might send you straight for the nearest comfort food. And because most people should aim to lose one to two pounds per week, you’re not going to see a big loss when you step on that scale daily.
3. The scale isn’t the only measure of your success.
Yes, the scale is the best tool to quantify your weight, and when paired with body measurements, for example, it can be a good way to track your progress. “But there are many victories to pay attention to off the scale,” says Lovell—clothing fit, energy levels, better skin, overall health improvements, and more. The true happiness associated with losing weight is outside of the numbers anyway, tied to these life-enhancing benefits.