Most of us have certain expectations when we step onto a scale, whether we’re trying to lose, gain or maintain weight. It’s important to remember, though, that the number presented by your scale isn’t an end all, be all measurement of your health. If you have a healthy relationship with weighing yourself, it can be a tool to give you valuable insights on your progress toward your overall health target.
Your weight in the morning will look different than your end-of-night weight. That’s because you eat less food during the night and lose water through sweat and breathing, according to the American Physiological Society.
With that in mind, there are specific times during the day where you’re likely to see the most accurate results when you step on the scale. Continue on for the best time of day to weigh yourself, more tips to consider when checking weight and when it might be beneficial to skip the scale.
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The best time to weigh yourself
You’ll get the most accurate reading from your scale if you weigh yourself first thing in the morning after using the restroom and before your breakfast or first chug of water.
According to experts, the morning is the best time because you’ve given your body the chance to properly digest everything you ate and drank the day before, leaving your stomach relatively empty.
More tips to accurately weigh yourself
Besides weighing yourself at an ideal time of day, there are more ways to ensure you regularly get an accurate reading from your scale, which is especially important when tracking your weight loss or gain progress.
- Weigh yourself once a week at the same time of day
- Keep your scale on a solid, flat surface
- Stand barefoot on your scale, keeping your weight distributed evenly between both feet
- Wear little to no clothing when you weigh yourself. Whatever you decide, keep it consistent each time you weigh yourself for better accuracy.
When to break up with your scale
Like any unhealthy relationship, you can walk away from weighing yourself if you think it’s having a negative impact on your life. Don’t hesitate to ditch your scale if you’re experiencing:
- Negative thoughts triggered by weighing yourself
- Unsafe or unhealthy habits triggered by weighing yourself
- Regular anxiety or sadness after weighing yourself
- An eating disorder, whether you’re developing, recovering from or previously had one
Read more: Your Weight Isn’t Everything: 6 Health Metrics That Are More Important
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.