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When is the Best Time to Weigh Yourself?

By Elisa Snyder

Reviewed by Monica Ropar, Certified Nutritionist

Expert Reviewed
  • The best time to weigh yourself is in the morning.
  • Weighing yourself before your first meal of the day will give you the most accurate weight measurement. It’s best done after you’ve used the restroom and without clothing.
  • Daily weigh-ins can help you monitor your weight loss progress and reach your goals.

Like most people, I have a love/hate relationship with my scale. Some days those flashing numbers give me a boost of confidence — and other days, I can’t help but feel frustrated.

 

But the thing is — if you’re trying to lose weight, regularly stepping on the scale can be a powerful tool to help you reach your goals.

 

Studies show that daily weigh-ins can lead to better chances of weight loss success.1 Why? Researchers believe that monitoring your weight may make you more aware of your habits and how they can affect weight loss.2

 

So when is the best time to weigh yourself when you’re trying to lose weight? And how can you stay motivated each morning? Read on to find out.

Why your weight fluctuates

Before we reveal the best time to weigh yourself, it helps to understand why your weight changes day-to-day. If you’ve ever weighed yourself after a sweaty workout or took the brave step after eating a large meal — you know what we’re talking about.  

 

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“Your weight is influenced by a multitude of factors,” Monica Ropar, Jenny Craig’s Certified Nutritionist states. “Weighing yourself every day is a good way to keep tabs on your weight loss progress. Just know that fluctuation is totally normal. Your weight can change anywhere from two to five pounds a day.”

 

While five pounds might seem like a lot, it’s actually not when you take a look at how many different things can influence your weight. Check out this shortlist of reasons why your scale might be moving in one direction or the other:

What and how much you eat

Ever timidly stepped on the scale after a food and drink-filled weekend? If you overindulged, don’t worry, it happens (here’s how to get back on track). How much you eat and the types of food you eat (greasy, heavy foods vs. lighter, nutrient-rich foods) can make a difference when it comes to your weight.  

Your water intake

Did you know that the human body is made up of almost 60% water?3 With so much water in your body, losing water through sweat — or consuming it through food and beverages — can easily impact the scale. But don’t ease up on drinking water: Research shows staying adequately hydrated can help with weight management.4

Photo by Bluewater Globe on Unsplash

water-intake-weight

Your sodium consumption

If you’re eating over the recommended amount of sodium – 2,300 milligrams per day – it might be showing up on the scale.5 Consuming excess sodium can lead to water retention which can influence your weight. Staying hydrated and checking nutrition labels can help. Opt for low-sodium or no-sodium products when possible.  Also, pay attention to your daily average intake. If you tend to add salt to your food, try tasting it before adding any extra. You may find it’s great as is!

Your exercise routine

If you stick to a regular workout schedule, you might not notice as much impact on the scale.  However, if your sweat sessions are sporadic or vary greatly in length and intensity day-to-day, your weight will likely fluctuate based on how much you’re sweating, hydrating and of course, refueling. While switching up your exercise routine is a great way to stay motivated, it’s one thing to keep in mind if you notice a change in your weight overnight.

Photo by erica steeves on Unsplash

exercise-routine-weight

Your hormones

Ever wonder why you gain weight before your period? You can thank your hormones. Estrogen and progesterone rise and fall before your time of the month and can lead to water retention. So don’t worry if you gain a few pounds around that time, it’s completely normal.

Your scale

No, your doctor’s office isn’t playing cruel tricks on you: Scales read differently! While you shouldn’t see a dramatic shift in your weight, know that a few pounds up or down isn’t out of the norm when you weigh yourself on a new scale.

When is the best time to weigh yourself?

To get the most accurate assessment of your weight, the best time of day to weigh yourself is first thing in the morning.

 

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“We recommend checking your weight at the same time each day, preferably in the morning after you’ve used the restroom,” Ropar explains. “Make sure you’re wearing similar clothing — weighing yourself without clothes is usually easiest.”

 

If getting on the scale every day leads to more anxiety than inspiration for you, find another schedule that works best for you. Pick one day a week to weigh yourself and try to stick to it. Research indicates that Wednesday might be the best day to weigh yourself since it’s mid-week (long enough for your weight to adjust after any weekend splurges).6

 

As you become accustomed to your new routine, it will be easy to spot when your weight is doing more than simply fluctuating. If you’re losing weight — you’ll notice the downward trend — and hopefully feel inspired to continue your healthy habits. And if you’re gaining — don’t fret. Use your daily weigh-ins as a tool to recognize what might be making your weight creep up.

 

Get a jump-start on your weight loss with these tips: Here’s how to lose weight now.

The worst times to weigh yourself

Now that you know the best time to weigh yourself, here are a few times you might want to avoid the scale. Remember, your weight fluctuates throughout the day – it’s completely normal! These are times when weight fluctuation is more likely to occur, so to avoid frustration, you might want to stay away from the scale during these times:

1. At the end of the day

Weighing yourself at the end of the day will likely not give you the results you’re looking for. After eating multiple meals and drinking lots of water, your weight will likely be on the higher end at night.

2. After a meal

Step on the scale right after a meal and you might be in for a not-so-pleasant surprise. Since what you eat can impact your weight, it’s better to avoid weighing yourself right after a meal.

3. Immediately after a workout

You can be easily deceived by weighing yourself after a sweaty workout. We’re sorry to break the news, but you probably did not lose three pounds of fat overnight – it’s most likely water weight.  

Your weight is only one piece of the puzzle

Remember, the number on the scale is just one way to measure your health. When you’re eating well, moving your body regularly, staying hydrated and getting enough sleep, you’ll feel different — in a good way! Your non-scale victories (like better-fitting jeans or more energy) are just as important as your weight loss successes.

 

Are you interested in a weight loss program that takes the guesswork out of healthy eating? Jenny Craig’s most effective plan ever, Rapid Results Max, can help you take your weight loss to the Max with delicious chef-crafted meals and 1:1 support. Max up your results today! Learn more.

 

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Sources:

[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18983667/

[2] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181105081735.htm

[3] https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/water-you-water-and-human-body?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects

[4] https://www.annfammed.org/content/14/4/320

[5] https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-surprising-link-between-salt-and-weight-gain/

[6] https://health.clevelandclinic.org/when-is-the-best-time-to-weigh-yourself/

 

This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles and was written by an experienced health and lifestyle contributor and reviewed by certified professionals. 

 

Our goal at Jenny Craig is to provide the most up-to-date and objective information on health-related topics, so our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content. All articles undergo an extensive review process, and depending on the topic, are reviewed by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Nutritionist, to ensure accuracy. 

 

This article contains trusted sources including scientific, peer-reviewed papers. All references are hyperlinked at the end of the article to take readers directly to the source. 

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Contributors

Elisa Snyder

By Elisa Snyder

Elisa is a content marketing manager for Jenny Craig with over ten years of experience working in the health and fitness industry. She loves sharing her passion for living a balanced and healthy lifestyle. An endurance sports enthusiast, she is usually swimming in the pool, biking along the coast highway or running by the beach in her free time. Elisa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Chico.

 

Favorite healthy snack: mozzarella string cheese with a Pink Lady apple
Monica Ropar, Certified Nutritionist

Reviewed by Monica Ropar, Certified Nutritionist

Monica has over 15 years of experience with Jenny Craig, as an expert nutrition and program resource. She develops content, training, tools and strategies for the program to support clients throughout their weight loss journey, and offers inspiration, weight loss tips, lifestyle strategies and motivation.  Monica holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Dietetics and Exercise, Fitness & Health from Purdue University and continues to stay current on weight management research, consumer trends and healthcare developments.

Favorite healthy snack: raw veggie sticks with homemade hummus

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