Tips For Weighing In

Is your bathroom scale your friend or more like you worst enemy? We’ve asked Jason Carter, fitness manager for 24 Hour Fitness’ downtown Seattle club, to answer some questions about the subject – to make weighing in a better experience."

How Often Should You Weigh Yourself?

No more than once a week, because weighing in can become too discouraging. In the meantime, put the scale someplace where you can see it, to remind yourself to maintain good habits.

A scale is just part of the puzzle. But it can help you realize if you’ve gotten off track. When our clients work with a trainer; trainers weigh them and take their measurements every three weeks.

Do Most People Know How Much They Really Weigh?

Nine times out of ten, people will say that they weigh less than they actually do.

What Are Different Factors That Can Affect Your Weight?

Depending on the person, body weight can fluctuate between five and ten pounds in a given 24 hours. If you’ve eaten foods high in sodium, the number on the scale the next day will show the retention of extra-cellular fluid. On the other hand, if you’re sick, your body may dehydrate and you can lose up to ten pounds. That’s weight that you’ll gain back right away. Permanent change on the scales takes time.

How Important Is It To Weigh Yourself?

Using a scale is a good tool. But I personally put more faith in body fat measurement – a series of skin fold measurements to calculate body fat percentage – and circumference measurements, which can measure a change in size or inches.

What Are Some Tips For That Weekly Weigh-in?

The best time is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Make sure that the scale is on a hard surface, not carpet.

Which Scales Are Most Accurate?

If they’re calibrated correctly, digital and dial scales should be accurate. But you can’t “cheat” with digital scales.

How Do You Know If You’re the Proper Weight For Your Height and Frame?

It’s hard to get a good idea of your ideal body weight through one of those charts. There are other factors besides height and frame. For instance, you need to take into account different body types (thin, rounded and muscular) and most people are a combination of those. A good way to set goals is to get a certified fitness trainer to weigh you and accurately measure your body fat.

Even on “The Biggest Loser,” the NBC TV series sponsored by 24 Hour Fitness, the contestants weigh in, but they’re also judged by the change in their body fat percentage.

When You Need to Lose Weight, How Many Pounds Per Week Do You Recommend?

I teach my staff that lifestyle changes take time. It takes time for the body to readily accept changes. You should shoot for no more than one to 1 ½ pounds per week. That way you’ll lose primarily fat and a little water. When the numbers start to elevate, then it’s cause for concern; the body could be cannibalizing lean muscle tissue. Losing lean body weight will slow down your metabolism.

The exception to this is someone who is obese and has been inactive. When they start to eat better and exercise, they may lose upwards of two, three or four pounds per week. Their body is supercompensating. It’s not used to exercise or the metabolic boost from eating properly.

Jason Carter is a Fitness Manager for 24 Hour Fitness’ downtown Seattle Sport Club. He earned a bachelor of science in kinesiology. He is NASM certified

This information and other information on this site is intended for general reference purposes only and is not intended to address specific medical conditions. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice or a medical exam. Prior to participating in any exercise program or activity, you should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition.