Obsessing Over the Scale, How & When to Weigh Yourself

August 7, 2014

Do you find yourself weighing yourself five times a day or maybe even every hour? Obsessing over the number staring back at you, and becoming a slave to the scale?

Although it may be exciting to see the pounds melt off your body after your post-bariatric surgery, you should take into account that weight fluctuates. There is a range of 2-4 pound fluctuation during the day. Also, weight loss is most prominent during the first months following surgery and may not be consistent, but rather incremental.

How & When to Weigh Yourself

It is best to weigh yourself once a week at the same time of day with no clothes on. Also, make sure to weigh yourself on the same scale every time because weight can vary between scales. When you weigh yourself you should record it week per week.  This will help track your progress in a way that will keep you from turning to the scale for reassurance. Remember that how much weight you lose per week depends on the type of bariatric surgery you get, as well as diet, exercise, and your overall lifestyle.

Success doesn’t come easy, whether it’s being stuck at a certain weight or even gaining a little back, the scale can get tricky at times. Stepping on the scale daily can cause emotional eating, anxiety, and overall disappointment if goals aren’t met.

Check Your Body Fat Percentage

Rather than concentrating on weight alone, you should focus on your body fat percentage.  This will be a more accurate number.  At times weight is not a good indicator of overall health.  Your body fat percentage can easily be calculated at your local gym or with your nutritionist.

Body fat percentage provides a measurement of fat weight verses lean weight. Since lean weight can increase from exercise, body fat percentage can provide a measurement of whether overall body weight composition is changing. For example, the weight on the scale might not show a difference but your body fat percentage could be decreasing while you are building more lean weight.

Percent Body Fat Norms for Men and Women - ACE Fitness

Essential Fat10-13%2-5%

Breaking the Obsession

So how do you break this unhealthy habit? Here are some tips to keep you from weighing yourself uncontrollably:

  • Ask someone you live with to hide your scale for the rest of the week.
  • Throw your scale away!
  • If you don’t want to throw it away, then give it to a friend and weigh there weekly.
  • Realize that weighing yourself everyday does you no good.  Exercise your willpower!


Lucía Chávez, Chief Nutritionist at VIDA Wellness of CosMed graduated with honors and received the university medal of merit from Universidad Iberoamericana. Lucía teaches Nutrition Physiology at Universidad Iberoamericana, is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly ADA), Dietitians Association of Integrative Medicine and Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine.

Read more articles by Lucía Chávez!