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I am trying to lose weight, more accurately I am trying to lose weight around my stomach area (overall I am a healthy weight), and I have taken to weighing myself in the morning and evening. Mostly to give my self some artificial goals.

Anyway I noticed that I weight less in the morning than I do in the evening! It's usually around 0.2/3 of a stone difference. Is this common? What causes it? If it is common, what is the correct time to weigh?

Ta!

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You may also find that your scale has intrinsic error. Weigh yourself twice in a row, and you may not get the same result. I typically weigh a few times and use the average. –  Greg Jun 16 '11 at 21:04
    
I've noticed that with scales that use bioelectric impedance to measure body fat, not only are you heavier in the evening, it measures less fat in the evening. I think this has to do with water retention more than anything. High amounts of water retention causes bioelectric impedance devices to count that as muscle. –  Berin Loritsch Jun 17 '11 at 12:07
    
But also you burn off a lot of energy and lose a lot of water while you are sleeping. Throughout the day you should be urinating any excess water you drink. So really after work should be a good time to weigh yourself. –  Salsero69 Jun 17 '11 at 21:02
    
So that others don't have to look it up like I did, 0.25 stone (a unit of mass) is equal to 3.5 lbs or 1.6 kg. –  Kevin Vermeer Jun 23 '11 at 19:46
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1 Answer 1

up vote 10 down vote accepted

It's natural for weight to fluctuate throughout the day. Everything you eat, drink, excrete, sweat has mass and will therefore affect your scale weight.

There is no "correct" time to weigh; the most important thing is to be consistent. Pick one time of day and always weigh yourself then to try to reduce the measuring error.

I do my own weighings first thing in the morning because I think that's the most consistent time for me, since I don't have to account for variances in what I ate or drank that day.

Keep in mind that your absolute weight is a meaningless number (take BMI and other standards with a grain of salt). What's important is how your weight changes relative to what it was before given a consistent measurement process.

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Because of what Greg says here, I always weigh myself in the morning before I step into the shower. I figure it'll give me the most consistent results. Weighing myself in the evening seems to cause a lot more variation depending on what I've eaten/done that day. –  Joshua Carmody Jun 16 '11 at 21:59
    
+1 for taking it with a grain of salt. Weight by itself doesn't mean much and it is better to judge by a measurement like waist circumference since that's why you're trying to improve. –  Christopher Bibbs Jun 17 '11 at 20:11
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