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When I weight myself often, I realize that I fluctuate a couple pounds here and there. I can never seem to get an accurate reading that I can compare to another.

Is there a time of day which you are at your "most real" weight? Would you suggest I simply weight myself around the same time each day (morning or right before bed?).

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5 Answers

up vote 14 down vote accepted

If you weigh yourself after relieving your bowels, your weight will be slightly more accurate as far as what YOU weigh, without as much of what you ate. Weighing yourself at the same time every day is probably best. During a typical day, most people follow a pretty well set routine. We eat at about the same time every day, drink about the same amount of liquids at about the same times. So, as long as you're weighing in at about the same time every day, fluctuations in your weight will be more accurately depicted.

My personal preference is to weigh myself at night before going to bed, but many people prefer to weight themselves in the morning. In my personal experience (having weighed myself at night and then the following morning) the difference in weight between night and 8 hours of sleep and a bathroom break later is rarely more than a pound.

Additionally, your weight fluctuates up to around 5 pounds a day anyway, due to all kinds of reasons. A person should only consider their weight over a longer period of time, such as a week or even a month to make a truthful analysis of whether they are losing or gaining weight.

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I would go with the first suggestion of weighing yourself after taking a dump. When I used to weigh myself at the same time every night, I would notice that I'd fluctuate 2-3 pounds from day to day. Your weight really depends on how much you ate and how much you haven't expelled. –  JoJo Sep 1 '11 at 3:58
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Yeah, my weight fluctuates up to 5 pounds a day anyway... I've actually put on 2-3 pounds in a day of fasting (water only). Your weight fluctuates for a variety of reasons. I added to my answer to account for that. –  Nathan Wheeler Sep 1 '11 at 14:22
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Using an app like myfitnesspal (or just a post it note) helped me a lot, and you see the fluctuations as it gives you a graph of the week. I did it twice a day and realised sometimes the morning would differ by 2-3 g depending on whether I'd eaten and the other smellier factor mentioned. Personally I find morning the best time to do it, after any bathroom visit and before getting dressed.

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Consistency, consistency, consistency. It probably doesn't matter what time of day you weigh yourself as long as you weigh yourself the same time every day to track progress. You may find that you weigh the least first thing in the morning after relieving yourself. But, to get an accurate trend, over time, make sure to weigh yourself the same time every day.

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exactly right Ryan just to add the one needs to use the same scale as well if you for example weight yourself at a scale at gym and then down 4 weeks etc you weigh at home these readings will be different as well even if both scales are initialised at 0. –  Java Ka Baby Sep 11 '11 at 21:26
    
@Java: crucial point. –  Ryan Miller Sep 12 '11 at 12:20
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In the morning and before eating gives a pretty consistent weight. Keep in mind that water retention from salt (as in some Mexican dinners), or dehydration from sweating can last through the night and affect your weight.

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I weigh myself once a week, first thing Sunday morning after I wake up and urinate. I don't drink anything until after I have weighed myself. Then I enter the weight.

For me, weighing myself helps me to avoid eating too little, which I've tended to do to "make sure" I was losing weight when I avoided the scale in the past. So avoiding the scale is counterproductive for me. Weighing once a week immediately after I get up and go to the bathroom keeps me sane and helps me to monitor the effect of my eating habits.

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