How many days a week should I weigh in?

According to  Dori Steinberg,  an obesity prevention and treatment researcher at the Duke Global Health Institute in Durham, N.C."The old conventional wisdom was: 'Don't weigh yourself more once a week. It will drive you crazy,'  "But now we are seeing more and more research showing that the optimal frequency for weighing oneself is likely every day." 

"Stepping on the scales should be like brushing your teeth," says David Levitsky, a professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell University.

We recommend to weigh first thing in the morning after emptying your bladder and collecting your weight through the PreventScripts App connection.   If you have a significant history of disordered eating, anxiety or depression, let your provider know and we will customize your approach. 

Here are three recent studies on the utility of daily weights:

  • College freshman told to weigh themselves daily during their first 12 weeks of classes put on no weight. Their classmates put on an average of 5 pounds — typical for pizza-loving freshmen.
  • In a two-year study of 162 overweight and obese gym members, those asked to weigh themselves daily and chart the results were more likely to lose significant weight and then keep it off.
  • Another study of 92 overweight adults found increased weight loss among those assigned to daily use of a digital scale that sent results to a website. The numbers were accessible to both users and counselors — who followed up with tips and encouragement. The daily weighers saw no increases in depression, binge eating or other signs of disordered eating.
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