Health & Wellness Articles

Prevent Weight Gain with Daily Weigh-Ins

Fitness News Flash

Sometimes the hardest part of weight loss is keeping it off. It can be daunting to know that within two years, most dieters regain two-thirds of what they lost! But researchers at Brown University Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island studied 291 people (mostly women) who had lost at least 10% of their body weight (an average of 44 pounds) in the previous two years. Participants were given scales (and encouraged to use them daily), as well as different levels of support (either a monthly email, an internet chat group, or face-to-face meetings).

At the onset of the study, 40% of the dieters were weighing themselves daily. After 18 months, 65% of those who chatted online and 72% of those who received face-to-face support weighed themselves daily, while those without support weighed themselves less. On top of that, 68% of dieters who did NOT weight-in daily gained five pounds or more over the course of the 18-month study.

Action Sparked
This study shows the importance both social support (either online or in person), and keeping track of your progress—even after you have already met your goal. You can get (and give!) plenty of support on the SparkPeople Message Boards, from your exercise buddies, trainer, family, and friends too.

When you weigh yourself regularly, you’re more likely to catch weight gain early on—and do something about it. Give yourself about a 5-pound range to stay within, and continue to watch your calories and get plenty of exercise after you meet your goal. While daily weigh-ins aren't necessarily for everyone, you can still keep yourself in check with consistent, weekly weigh-ins, body fat tests, or other measurements (such as waist, hips, etc.).
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About The Author

Nicole Nichols Nicole Nichols
A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, Nicole loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Nicole was formerly SparkPeople's fitness expert and editor-in-chief, known on the site as "Coach Nicole." Make sure to explore more of her articles and blog posts.

Member Comments

  • I prefer to weigh everyday. I know it fluctuates but I get into big trouble when I do not weigh. I gain weight very easy and fast. So in order for me to maintain or loose I have to be on top of it. - 3/9/2015 5:38:23 AM
  • I wont weigh myself every day because your weight can fluctuate due to hormones and other factors. I will only weigh myself weekly at most - 1/4/2015 5:56:12 PM
    As has been said before, I thought I odd that two opposing points of view were connected - I thought I was going to need an intervention before reading this article!
    I only weigh myself once a day at the same time every day and I haven't felt hopeless so I don't think I need to stop.
    Thanks for all of your helpful comments! - 11/12/2014 2:55:23 PM
  • the first sign of my return to the yoyo of weight gain is when i *stop* weighing myself. - 7/18/2014 1:12:16 AM
  • Maybe it's avoidance of the scale that's the obsession. That's how I gained the weight in the first place. Out of sight, out of mind, but onto my hips. - 7/17/2014 11:19:25 AM
    For some reason, and it isn't just in this blog, but whenever there is a breakdown of a serving into calories, fat, carbs, etc. sugar is never listed. This is extremely important to those of us following a bariatric diet; I'm sure it would help diabetics also.. - 7/8/2014 3:21:11 PM
    Very odd - I was leaving a comment intended for an article about Panera's new POWER menu...and the comment attached here. Sorry folks - do try their new Power Menu though! - 6/16/2014 1:10:58 PM
    I rarely eat out at restaurants, and generally prefer locally owned places...making nutritional observation harder! But, I recently tried the Panera Power Turkey Mediterranean Salad - and LOVE IT! I've added the info into menu options so others can find it too. NOTE: The Power Menu is not listed at most Panera locations - but if you ask for it, they can easily key it into register and create it no worries at all! - 6/16/2014 1:09:26 PM
    I've weighed daily for long stretches at a time since 1996. I *always* keep my weight in check better when I do it. For me, it doesn't become an obsession; as a matter of fact, it's the opposite. When I weigh daily and graph it, the number loses any positive or negative significance and just becomes a data point on the graph.

    As others have noted, your weight fluctuates daily. It's interesting to me to see when that happens--I weigh more at the expected times (after a day of salty food, certain times of the month, etc.), but also on hot, humid days. My problem with weekly weigh-ins is that sometimes they fall on a day when my *scale* weight might be up as much as 3 lbs., even though my weight overall is going down. That used to stress me out with Weight Watchers, which was completely opposed to daily weigh-ins (at least, at the time I was doing it; I don't know what their stance is now).

    I realize that it's not everybody's thing; most people I've talked to say it would drive them crazy, except, interestingly, the ones who deal with data a lot. One of my friends who works in IT weighs & graphs daily, and has maintained the same weight for more than 30 years! - 1/22/2014 10:47:31 AM
  • I did a survey of maintainers. (Successful ones) and almost 9/10 of weighed in daily. Weight does fluctuate. But I know that it does, but if you see if going up instead of up and down then you need to evaluate... - 1/16/2014 7:15:54 AM
  • i absolutely agree with this article. I've been told by a million people, don't weigh in daily, only weekly, but i do it anyway, and i'm always more successful when i weigh daily. there is also a great app called happy scale that averages your daily weigh in's so fluctuations in water weight won't affect your results as much. I find daily weigh in very inspirational and it helps me start the day with weight loss on the mind.

    Every one is different, if you hate weighing in, don't do it. But also don't lecture other people about how it's bad to weigh in every day, there's nothing wrong with it, and it helps a lot of people. - 12/15/2013 8:58:51 PM
  • I guess I don't understand the logic of daily weigh-ins..... Weight fluctuates throughout the day based on food, how much water you drink, and whether or not you've gone to the bathroom. It seems like daily weigh-ins would lead to an unhealthy obsession with weight rather than reinforcement of overall healthy habits and lifestyle change. Weekly weigh-ins seem alright, but daily? No way, that's too often. - 7/28/2013 4:22:27 PM
  • talk about sending mixed messages!!! I could see if it were to say "once on maintenance" or something and although it mainly does talk in terms of dieters that have lost, still yet, I feel it is a bad idea to have articles for us that say stop weighing every day and then turn around and see this on here. What were you thinking? - 7/13/2013 4:04:39 AM
  • KNITWIT0704
    This is so strange that it was on the bottom of another article with a conflicting message... - 5/31/2013 10:05:24 AM
  • Hilarious --coincidence or not ??? That THIS article was shown at the bottom of the previous article I was reading about: 5 Steps To Stop Your Scale Obsession.....??!
    ! The pair together make for a really confusing message!! Dont' weigh while you are losing---but be sure to weigh every day once you get there?!

    Personally, I weigh almost every day---but---I have learned to look at the weekly average as my indicator. And, as this article suggests, I had a small range and when I got to the top of it, it is a Red Flag to cut back. Been doing that for 5+years---it works!! Now with Spark I've realized that range was a little too high, so I am working to reset where I should be. I've also never experienced "feelings of failure" if my weight went up---if it is up, it motivates me to be a little more mindful---if it is down, I get excited, and want to continue!! Best of Both Worlds, I think!! - 5/31/2013 1:11:52 AM

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