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To weigh or not to weigh?

weight loss

It seems these days everyone is trying to figure out the best way to lose weight.  A quick google search will tell you that 3/4s of all men and 2/3s of all women in the US are either obese or overweight.  That is a very large number of Americans.  A little more exploring and you can see how it has risen by state over the decades at an alarming rate to the level that it is today.

This problem is not limited to the US but is a growing problem around the world.  The status of being overweight or obese is determined by your Body Mass Index (BMI).  This index is a ratio between your height and your weight.  Experts will argue the relevance of this number, some saying it is an antiquated and inaccurate method and others arguing in favor of it.  For the purposes of this article we will roll with the BMI.  The difference between being overweight and being obese is where you fall on the BMI index.

How do I know if I’m overweight or obese?

Whether you are overweight or obese is irrelevant for this article.  You know if you want to lose weight or not.  So if you do, you will most likely want to weigh yourself at some point.  There are many types of bathroom scales today and you can get them anywhere – online at Amazon or over at Walmart or Bed Bath and Beyond to name a few.  There are the old analog/mechanical scales.  These are still a great way to determine your weight and highly accurate.  But now there are Digital scales that have multiple functions.  These scales are not just used to determine weight but also determine fat/body weight ratio.

How often should I weigh myself?

Many of these body weight scales also are body fat scales and have sensors that can give you a descent wag on your percent body fat.  I personally like to weigh myself when I try to lose weight – I recommend it.  Whether you do it daily, weekly or monthly, it is a great way to measure your progress.  Personally, when I am actively trying to lose weight I find it most helpful to weigh myself daily.  Other people may find this is too obsessive and will do it less frequently.  I do believe it is a good idea though to weigh yourself at the beginning of your weight loss program.  This will give you a baseline to start from.  It will also let you see progress that you make as you move toward your goal.  This progress can motivate you and aid in staying with your plan.

So weigh yourself.  You don’t need to let others know – just do it.  When and how often should you weigh yourself?  Should you weigh yourself in workout clothes and running shoes?  Weigh yourself in the morning after you go to the bathroom.  No… weigh yourself after lunch.  No, no… Weigh yourself just before going to bed.  So many decisions.  Let me help you – it doesn’t matter!  

Whenever you decide to weigh yourself just be consistent.  Weigh yourself as close to the same parameters each time.  I tend to weigh myself in the morning after I go to the bathroom.  It’s the same answer for how often.  It doesn’t matter.  Answers are all over the place but many experts will recommend about once a week is the best.  This length of time will reduce the variations in weight that may occur from day to day.  Be aware if you weigh yourself too often, weight can fluctuate in the wrong direction even though you stuck to your regimen.  Clothed or not; what clothes?  Again, it doesn’t matter.  

When should I weigh myself?

Weigh yourself in the same type of clothes each time – underwear, fitness clothes and basketball shoes or your Sunday best.  I tend to hit my smart scale in the morning in my skivvies.   I know that some of the clothes and shoes that I wear can add 3-7 pounds, so nothing but my underwear eliminates any clothes weight guesswork.  Again – it doesn’t matter what you wear, just be consistent. 

Conclusion

Changing your habits, your fitness level and your weight takes time.  Don’t listen to overnight schemes. Trying to lose weight too fast can result in injuries or can have unhealthy consequences.  If you don’t know how to lose weight, how to get in shape or how to change eating habits then consult a professional – run it by your doctor.  Take your time, work into whatever your plan is and be safe.  Whatever you decide stay positive and don’t get discouraged!  Now, don’t procrastinate, jump on that scale and go get started!