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Jul 19

What time of day should you weigh yourself?

Bathroom scales

First thing in the morning is normally the best time of day to weigh yourself

When you’re dieting it is very important to regularly weigh yourself so that you can keep track of your progress.

As for what time of day should you weigh yourself, well for most people it is best to get on the scales first thing in the morning, before you’ve eaten or drank anything and after you’ve been to the toilet.

But why should you weigh yourself first thing in the morning?  Because:

1  This is when we are at our lightest.  During the night we may have exhaled around a pound in moisture in our breath, and we probably won’t have eaten anything for up to 12 hours.  After we’ve urinated or been to the toilet then we will be even lighter.

2  This is when our weight will be least prone to natural variations that occur through the day as we typically won’t have eaten or drank anything for several hours.

3  It is a consistent time to weigh yourself.  By weighing yourself first thing in the morning, at the same time, at the same cycle of your daily routine, means that you will be comparing like with like when you look at  your results.

4  It is a convenient time to weigh yourself.  You should be naked when you get on the scales so by getting on the scales soon after you’ve got up you will have the minimum of undressing and inconvenience.

When weighing yourself first thing in the morning is not such a good idea:

* If you’re a night worker or if you don’t go to bed at night.  Your body clock will be wired differently, and a better time to weigh yourself maybe in the afternoon after you’ve just got up after sleeping through the day.

* If you’ve been drinking heavily the night before.  Alcohol dehydrates you and can lead to a false weight several pounds lighter than you really are.  Note this is temporary and alcohol contains calories that over time can lead to weight gain.

* If you’ve had breakfast and/or tea/coffee.  Too late, you should have weighed yourself before!

* If you’ve eaten in the middle of the night.  Skip the scales today, they may disappoint.

The main thing is that the time of day you should weigh yourself provides a meaningful comparison, so that you can accurately see over time how much weight you are losing.

For most of us, weighing ourselves first thing in the morning provides the best opportunity for this.

In other posts I’ll cover how often we should weigh ourselves, and the most accurate bathroom scales we can choose.

By David Hart

Read my ground-breaking 10 step psychological weight loss plan

(c) Copyright 2011.  All rights reserved.

What time of day do you weigh yourself? Let us know what works for you below:

7 comments

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  1. David

    Bang on Edward – I completely agree.

    However, the purpose of weighing yourself first thing in the morning is that a) it is convenient – you are already naked or nearly naked
    b) you will visit the bathroom where your scales are located
    c) it is a memorable time for a new habit to be formed and
    d) your weight won’t artificially fluctuate due to food and drink intake as it would later in the day

    However, yes – your weight will be a little lighter than your normal daily weight.

  2. Edward Kaye

    If you weigh yourself 1st thing in the morning, this will show your lightest weight which differs from the weight people will see you weighing as throughout the day, your body will add weight due to food and drink intake. by weighing yourself in the morning, great, you will see your base weight, but you are kidding yourself in a way here as it is not the mean weight of your body throughout a full day.

  3. David

    Hi Mel – I’m not sure I get your point. It is true you haven’t had water intake all night, so after losing moisture through perspiration, exhalation and urination it is likely you will be at your lightest, and most stable first thing in the morning, after you’ve been to the toilet. You can’t always predict your toilet habits, so I don’t focus on that area too much. But I maintain the best time to weigh yourself is first thing in the morning because a) you’re already naked b) you haven’t eaten or drank anything for probably 10 hours so your weight will be more stable and c) you’ll be at your lightest.

  4. Mel

    This is not accurate. Your weight is affected by your water weight at this point. You haven’t had water all night so your body stores extra water. The best time to weigh yourself is after taking a dump, simply put. Hope this helps (:

  5. David

    oops – thanks Al

  6. Al

    Drank* not drunk

  7. sarah

    like it! thanks!

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