Person stepping on scale

Before You Step on the Scale

January 31, 2022

Using a scale at home can be very helpful to track your progress and weight over time. However, the number on the scale isn't your only indicator of success. The Weight Loss and Wellness team at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center (LHMC) have a few things for you to consider before the next time you weigh in.

What's the Best Way To Weigh In?

  • Weigh in first thing in the morning, after using the bathroom

  • Wear little to no clothing each time you weigh in

  • If the number seems off, try 3 times and take the average

  • Make sure the scale is on a hard, flat surface

How Do I Track My Weight?

  • Via the health app that comes on your smart phone

  • In a notebook or an excel spreadsheet

  • Use a smart scale that links up with your phone

How Often Should I Weigh In?

This will vary based on each person's preferences, so pick which of the following three options seems like the best fit for you:

1. Daily Weigh In

  • This option is best for you if you do not get obsessed with the numbers, but rather see it as data to assess your progress.

  • When you weigh in daily, you WILL see fluctuations up on some days. For example, water weight changes every day.

  • The best thing to do is keep track of your weekly average

  • This is the most accurate method, but you will also see smaller losses

2. Weigh In 3 Times/Week

  • This option is a great middle ground

  • If daily weigh ins are not a good fit for you, this option allows you to get more data and accuracy than a weekly weigh in

  • Stay consistent with which 3 days you'll weigh in each week

  • Use those 3 weigh ins each week to find your weekly average

3. Weekly Weigh In

  • This option is for you if you feel weighing in more than once per week would be added stress

  • Pick the same day each week

  • It may be less accurate than the above options, but is a great low-stress option that still helps track the data

*Note: With this option, you may randomly have a high or low day on the day you choose to weigh in without being able to tell that it is an outlier. This can cause frustration at times, but do not be discouraged.

Non-Scale Indicators of Progress

Remember, the scale is only one of many tools we can use to assess your progress. There are also other things that can show progress even if you feel the weight is not going down every week, like:

  • Improved lab work

  • Increased energy

  • Less cravings or better control of hunger

  • Eating more healthfully

  • Exercise is getting easier

    • You can walk or run farther, use heavier weights, etc.

  • Digestion is normalized

  • Skin looks better

  • Clothes are fitting looser

To learn more about weight loss and wellness at LHMC, visit the Medical Weight Loss and Wellness program page.