If you weigh yourself during your menstrual period, there are chances that the result may be higher than your actual weight. It is often normal to gain around 3-5 lbs just before period. You will lose this weight in a week following the menses. This bloating and weight gain is due to hormonal fluctuation and water retention. Monthly variations or fluctuations in weight are common during the period; therefore, it is better not to weigh during this time to avoid confusion and unnecessary anxiety.
Should I weigh myself regularly?
Your weight is just one of the parameters of your overall health profile. Regular weighing may help you track your weight loss and weight maintenance goals. It is an effective way to track if your weight loss strategy is enough to burn calories or if you need to intensify your training.
A scale is a useful tool in your healthy weight gain journey. It offers early recognition of slow patterns of weight gain and provides an opportunity to modify your lifestyle behavior before total weight gain becomes extremely difficult to control. A study reported that adults with excessive weight (overweight or obese) who were trying to lose weight or prevent weight gain and who weighed themselves regularly were found to lose weight more often than those who weighed themselves less frequently. This study suggested that at least some people can benefit from daily weight measurements.
It is prudent to remember that inch loss is more important than weight loss. If you lose weight after a crash diet but your clothes are still tight, then it may mean that you are losing bone and muscle mass, which is not healthy at all.
If you crave control and feedback, regular weighing may satisfy more of your requirements and motivate you for further weight loss achievements. The scale can bring a feeling of achievement if you are slaying your diet and exercise goals.
However, if you easily get discouraged, daily weighing might lead you to give up your attempts if you don’t see rapid progress. Because weight fluctuates every day, weighing daily may lead to discouragement and potential diet sabotage if you see a higher number on the scale than you saw the day before. Therefore, some weight loss plans may not recommend weighing yourself daily. However, they often recommend to step on the scale once a week or even less frequently.
It is better if you weigh once weekly or even monthly for a more accurate reflection of weight control progress. However, if you have eating disorders or anxiety related to weight loss or gain, it is better to avoid it.
What to expect while weighing myself?
The scale can be a very helpful tool in your health journey. You must know when and how to weigh yourself to get accurate and helpful information from the scale.
Whatever weigh-in frequency you choose, you must remember the following things while stepping on the scale:
- After consuming breakfast or fluids, you may get fluctuations in your actual weight. Therefore, weigh yourself in the morning after peeing and before consuming anything.
- If you like to weigh frequently, remember that daily fluctuations in weight are quite common. Therefore, even if you get more weight than the previous day, it generally does not count as weight gain. Therefore, avoid any instant speculations about failure of your weight control program.
- Even after exercising a lot, if you find no major change for a while, it is not necessarily a bad sign. If you can still experience inch loss or a decrease in your body fat content and feel healthier, it is a good sign.
- Some signals other than scale numbers are also equally important. The change in appearance and one's own body image perceptions after some time spent in a weight loss program is also a sign of success. If you feel stronger and your body is more flexible and active, then it is a sign that the weight loss program is working for you.
What are the reasons for overnight weight gain?
Water retention is a major cause of overnight changes in your weight. You may retain water if you
- Have high sodium foods.
- Consume excess alcohol.
- Have traveled in a flight or gone for long drives.
- Have premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Have just started your period.
However, if there is no obvious cause behind water retention, see a doctor.
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Annals of Behavioral Medicine: Linde JA, et al. Self-weighing in weight gain prevention and weight loss trials. Annals of Behavioral Medicine 30(3), 2005.
https://www.healthywomen.org/your-health/understanding-period-weight-gain Clevelandclinic: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/when-is-the-best-time-to-weigh-yourself/