Blog Weight Loss When Should I Weigh Myself?

When Should I Weigh Myself?

Asking when I should weigh myself leads to a no-one-shoe-fits-all answer. Maybe a friend lost tons of weight by weighing themselves daily while another lost a few pounds with infrequent weigh-ins at any time daily. Which one might work best for you?

When should I weigh myself? Honestly, the when part is easy. The truest weight you’ll see occurs at a certain time while at another time you could get a shock on the scale. Let’s focus on the facts and how often you should weigh yourself. 

When Should I Weigh Myself?

When should I weigh myself finds an answer in these quick guidelines:

  • When you wake up (12, 7
  • Before you eat (12, 7
  • With an empty bladder (12, 7
  • Daily or weekly (19)

With this in mind, let’s see why at these times and how often it matters.

A Complete Guide to When Should I Weigh Myself

Factors that may cause weight gain include diet, habits, carbs, portion sizes, and a lack of physical activity (9). Many factors influence body weight daily. Let’s see when you need to weigh yourself to ensure that you find out your true weight. 

When to Weigh Yourself for True Weight

True weight defines the average weight you see on the scale daily if you weigh in at the right time and under the same circumstances to ensure no factors will be influencing the results. This means that weighing yourself at night with heavy-duty work boots will be higher than if you weighed yourself naked the next morning. 

True weight refers to your most basic weight at the same weigh-ins daily or weekly. If you weigh yourself naked right after your morning bathroom visit today, you’ll weigh yourself the same way next time. Also, avoid weighing yourself after breakfast or two-morning cups of coffee

For example, 250 milliliters or 8 fluid ounces of water weighs 250 grams or 0.55 pounds (4). So, 8-ounce cups of coffee already add half a kilogram or a pound to the scale. Drink a liter or 16 ounces of water before weighing yourself, and you’ll weigh two pounds heavier. 

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You’ll see your true weight if your stomach is empty after waking up and before eating breakfast or drinking liquids

Is Your Lowest Weight Your Real Weight?

Your lowest weight isn’t your real weight because it’s temporary. Your weight fluctuates by 1-5 pounds daily because of water retention (3). You may weigh 150 pounds this morning and 158 tonight because your body is holding onto the fluids you consume.

Your body is naturally 50-70% water (21). Drinking more fluids is essential but fluctuates your weight while remaining in cells and awaiting digestion. The Cleveland Clinic says it takes 10-20 minutes to digest water but can take up to 60 minutes to digest other fluids (12). 

As a result, your body naturally weighs different amounts all day long. Your real weight is anywhere within a 1-5 pound range realistically. Anything you wear or add can change weight slightly, but it shouldn’t change too much or increase steadily. Seeing a pound extra each day over time when weighing yourself the same way may indicate gradual weight gain. 

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What Time of the Day Are You the Heaviest?

The worst time to weigh yourself would be after eating a large meal, drinking plenty of fluids, or wearing ultra-heaving clothing. It’s about how long your body takes to digest food, which physical activity levels, food types, metabolism, medication, and body type may impact (12). 

The Cleveland Clinic suggests food typically remains in your stomach for 40-120 minutes and in the small bowel for another 40-120 minutes (12). The Mayo Clinic suggests it takes 6-8 hours for food to completely exit your stomach and small intestine (7). 

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Shockingly, the Mayo Clinic also suggests food can take up to 36 hours to completely exit the bowels and colon (7). However, the further it moves through the intestines, the more the enzymes and nutrients have been digested, and the less it should weigh. 

Speaking of bowel movements isn’t ideal, but it’s necessary to understand why you’ll weigh more after eating a big meal. Also, some foods make you retain more water and slow water digestion. High-sodium foods are well-known for causing fluid retention (8, 14). 

when should i weigh myself  

When Should I Weigh Myself?

Ultimately, weigh yourself in the morning right after waking up to ensure your food and fluids have digested as much as possible before you consume anything again (12, 7). Empty your bladder and stomach before weighing yourself to rid your body of any excess fluids or undigested products. 

Additionally, weigh yourself the same way each day. Start daily or weekly weigh-ins with or without wearing any clothes because all clothes can weigh differently. A heavy-duty pair of work boots won’t weigh the same as a pair of sneakers. Also, heavy winter pajamas could weigh more than silky pajamas.

Best Time to Weigh Yourself (Woman)

Consider the best time to weigh yourself after your period because women have to deal with added weight during menstrual cycles. A small study in Greece confirmed that women carry about half a kilogram or just over a pound more during menstrual cycles (2). 

The study found that the main culprit for added weight during menstrual cycles was fluid retention and hormones. The increase in weight can start during a premenstrual cycle. The best time for women to weigh themselves is at least a week before a period or after it. 

Alternatively, weigh yourself early in the morning after waking up and emptying your bowels and bladder and before drinking anything to get the closest and most accurate number (18). However, it’s better to avoid weighing yourself during this cycle. 

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Medicine Net suggests that you could gain 3-5 pounds on the days leading up to a period, which confirms that you can carry up to 5 pounds of water weight (18, 3). Hormones and fluid retention will also cause bloating, making you more anxious. 

How Often Should I Weigh Myself While Dieting?

Know how often and when to weigh yourself to possibly lose weight or prevent negative effects. Let’s discuss weekly versus daily weighing and the potential setbacks that may require you to boot a scale. 

Can I Weigh Myself Every Day When Trying to Lose Weight?

When can I weigh myself for weight loss is a common question. Fortunately, there was a small randomized controlled trial that followed 47 overweight men and women over six months to find out that daily weigh-ins motivated them to lose more weight (20). 

Individuals lost an average of 6.1 kilograms or 13 pounds of body weight more than the group who didn’t weigh themselves daily. The study found that daily weigh-ins may improve weight loss behaviors, including the motivation to exercise more and end late-night snacks

The evidence suggests daily weighing may motivate you to do more to cut calories, work out, and drop more weight when you see a small plateau on the scale. Also, it may prevent you from snacking on bad carbs at night once you see the results of your hard work. 

Furthermore, another randomized controlled trial tracked 168 men and women over two years (11). Individuals who weighed and tracked their progress daily lost more weight and better maintained the weight loss after two years. Here, men were more successful than women.

Finally, a Stanford systematic review found that digital tools like wearable health trackers or websites that record weight loss progress were associated with weight loss and a reduced risk of unhealthy habits that negate it (17). 

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Track your progress to see the results over time, not only daily because they may fluctuate slightly. Daily weigh-ins will fluctuate, and you may occasionally hit a scaled plateau. It is important to take a weekly average of your weight, to see a more accurate number (due to these daily fluctuations). However, Henry Ford Health suggests stress, hormones, and water weight are culprits (6). 

A small study found that water retention can fluctuate body weight by 5% or 1-5 pounds daily (3). The evidence is anecdotal, but it gives you a simple guideline. Weighing yourself daily to see a steady incline would suggest you’re gaining weight, not retaining water. 

Read more: The Complete Guide to Weight Loss Shakes With the Ultimate Secrets to Homemade Shakes or Branded Powders

Weekly Weigh-Ins for Weight Loss and Maintenance

Weekly weigh-ins could work for you, too. A systematic Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation review found that weekly weigh-ins showed promising weight loss and maintenance results (19). Individuals who weighed weekly or daily lost 1-3 kilograms or 0.4-1.3 pounds more than those who didn’t weigh themselves frequently.

The review even found that healthy individuals could maintain a good body weight by frequently weighing themselves. Meanwhile, the randomized trial in North Carolina found that individuals who weighed themselves weekly lost weight over six months (20). However, those who weighed themselves daily saw more benefits and lost more weight. 

Still, weekly weigh-ins work for those who prefer them. The benefit of weighing weekly is that you can focus on measuring your waist circumference with the pounds you lose. You won’t see a quick circumference change daily, but imagine the motivation you feel from seeing weekly results. Also, weekly weigh-ins may be safer for high-risk individuals.  

When To Stop Weighing Yourself Daily

Sometimes, it’s better to weigh-in weekly or stop obsessing over a scale. One study found that daily weigh-ins don’t cause negative psychological effects that might lead to eating disorders or anxiety (5). However, some people may be at greater risk. 

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A small Australian study found that individuals who blind-weighed were less anxious and prone to eating disorder behaviors (1). Sadly, the study was limited, and more research is necessary. Still, people with eating disorders feel less anxious not seeing the scale. 

Speak to a healthcare physician about any weigh-in plans or weight loss journeys. Discuss your history if you’re at greater risk for already having a history of eating disorders and easily feel anxious, distressed, or obsessive over the scale. Also, consider weekly weigh-ins. 

Alternatively, Eating Disorder Hope suggests throwing your scale out (15). Instead, follow the advice of a nutritionist, physician, or expert who can also monitor any weight loss and behaviors closely. Your health is worth more if you have a history of an eating disorder.

If you tend to let yourself off the hook, raise the white flag when things get tougher than you expected, send yourself on an unconscious binge-eating trip – BetterMe app is here to help you leave all of these sabotaging habits in the past!

For more weight loss tips:

when should i weigh myself  


  • Do You Weigh More After a Shower?

You may weigh more after a hot shower for two reasons. Firstly, skin cells absorb water to hydrate themselves. Secondly, a review shows that heating your skin makes them absorb more water (16). Your true weight can change, depending on how much water you absorb in the shower, and hot showers encourage absorption more than cold water does. 

  • How Many Pounds Do Clothes Add?

Different clothing items weigh different amounts. A shipping website shares the typical weights of some clothing items (13). Nike Air Max weighs 0.8 kilograms or 1.7 pounds, while a pair of jeans weighs a kilogram or 2.2 pounds. Those two items alone add nearly two kilograms or 4 pounds to a scale. 

  • Should We Check Weight After Pooping?

Yes, weigh yourself in the morning after visiting the bathroom to empty your bowels and bladder. Everything you drink or eat takes time to digest (12, 7). Be smart by emptying everything before getting on a scale because even water adds weight (4). 

  • How Much Weight Do You Lose Overnight?

Losing weight overnight is a myth, but you can lose some of the water your body retains throughout the night. One small study suggests you could lose 1-5 pounds or 5% of your body weight when fluid retention drops (3). Everything you ate and drank the previous day is digested, and the body rids itself of these fluids when you visit the toilet in the morning. 

The Bottom Line

When should I weigh myself? You know the answer to that question now. Follow the crumbs of evidence and facts to weigh yourself at the right time and as frequently as is suitable for you. Also, remember to seek help if you feel anxious or obsessed. Meanwhile, get a smart scale to track weight and body fat percentage changes to achieve better results (17). The most important part is to be as consistent with your weighing routine as possible, this means limiting variables on a daily basis.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Blind Versus Open Weighing From An Eating Disorder Patient Perspective (2020,
  2. Changes in Body Weight and Body Composition During the Menstrual Cycle (2023,
  3. Composition of Two‐Week Change in Body Weight Under Unrestricted Free‐Living Conditions (2017,
  4. Convert 250 ML to Grams (n.d.,
  5. Daily Self-Weighing and Adverse Psychological Outcomes (2015,
  6. Daily Weight Change Explained: 5 Factors That Can Affect Your Weight (2021,
  7. Digestion: How Long Does it Take? – The Mayo Clinic (2019,
  8. Effect of Sodium Administration on Fluid Balance and Sodium Balance in Health and the Perioperative Setting. Extended Summary With Additional Insights From the MIHMoSA and TOPMAST Studies (2022,
  9. Factors That Influence Body Weight: Weight Management – NCBI Bookshelf (2004,
  10. Fluid and Electrolyte Balance: Medline Plus (2024,
  11. Frequent Self-Weighing and Visual Feedback for Weight Loss in Overweight Adults (2015,
  12. How Long Does it Take to Digest Food? (2021,
  13. How Much Does a Dress Weight? (n.d.,
  14. Increased Salt Consumption Induces Body Water Conservation and Decreases Fluid Intake (2017,
  15. Letting Go of the Scale: Why You Don’t Need to Weigh Yourself (2016,
  16. Percutaneous Absorption of Water in Skin: A Review (2014,
  17. Self-Monitoring via Digital Health in Weight Loss Interventions: A Systematic Review Among Adults with Overweight or Obesity (2021,
  18. Should I Weigh Myself During My Period? (n.d.,
  19. The Impact of Regular Self-weighing on Weight Management: A Systematic Literature Review (2008,
  20. Weighing Every Day Matters: Daily Weighing Improves Weight Loss and Adoption of Weight Control Behaviors (2015,
  21. What Percentage of Your Body Should Be Water? Fluid Intake Chart (n.d.,
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