Major weight loss takes more than just putting sneaker to treadmill or fork to plate. Odds are, you’re probably weighing yourself every once in a while, too—and we don’t blame you if it’s the scariest part of your day.
But when it comes to the dreaded scale, there’s nothing to fear! According to the National Weight Control Registry, 75 percent of people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off weigh themselves weekly. Plus, a 2012 study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that people who lose weight are less likely to gain it back if they regularly weigh themselves. Also, try these 50 ways to lose weight without a lick of exercise.
Weigh the right way
When you step on a scale, do so mindfully, science says. Get this: apparently there is a “right” way to weigh yourself. And as long as you follow this simple rule, you may get results that you can be proud of (and that are a little more accurate!)
First off, doctors recommend scheduling one time of day to weigh yourself and sticking to that time no matter what. Since your weight fluctuates throughout the day, it’s hard to get an accurate read when you weigh yourself at a different time each day.
It’s a good idea to regularly check that number, according to Holly Wyatt, MD, associate professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Diabetes at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. It will help you make better decisions for your health, she says.
But then you’re faced with a choice: When is the best time to weigh yourself? According to the experts, you should step on the scale in the morning, after you’ve emptied your bladder and before you’ve eaten breakfast or hit the gym. Not only will you get a lower number (woohoo!) but you’ll also see a more accurate reflection of what you actually weigh—sans any extra pounds thanks to water, food, etc.
Plus, make sure your scale is on a hard, flat surface (no carpets) and that you are standing still with your weight distributed evenly across both feet. Getting the most accurate measurement of your weight is guaranteed to put your mind to rest and boost your weight loss motivation.
Still not happy with the number on the scale? Don’t fret! Try these 40 fast, easy tips to lose weight from the pros.