what to do before weighing yourselfThere are tons of ways to measure how healthy you are -- body mass index, fitness tests, blood work, and, of course, weighing yourself. But, far too often, women get too worked up over the numbers on the scale. Don't let how much you weigh define who you are -- it can't dictate happiness or success.

So, how do you weigh yourself without making the scale your enemy? Here are the four golden rules for weighing yourself that every woman should follow:

1. Weigh yourself once a week max

If you have a specific weight loss goal you're trying to reach, then you should weigh yourself every one-to-two weeks. Why? Because if you check in too often, that number on the scale would be affected by a wide range of things, such as your period, eating salty foods, drinking alcohol, and being constipated. Weighing yourself every day could lead to lower self-esteem and obsessive behaviors.

2. Weigh yourself in the middle of the week

Wednesday mornings are the best time to weigh yourself. While losing one-to-two pounds per week is a realistic goal, you might not see results if you don't stick to a schedule. Since your weight can fluctuate up to five pounds per day, make sure to weigh yourself first thing in the morning, after going to the bathroom. Why Wednesdays? One study found that weight fluctuates least in the middle of the week.

3. Aim for a range

Instead of setting a weight loss goal with a specific number in mind, create one around a five-pound range. If your goal is to get down to 150, aim for anything below 160. This prevents experiencing extreme emotions that can come with a specific number on the scale.

4. Measure progress in other ways

Even though you should weigh yourself regularly, you should also measure your progress in different ways. Maybe your clothes fit better, or you're building muscle. If you've been working hard and you love how your clothes fit, weighing yourself can help you determine what your happy number is.

Tip the scales

Instead of weighing yourself every day, only weigh yourself once a week. Tip the scales in your favor by creating a healthier relationship with your weight and body. Remember to chart your progress in other ways, too.

  1. "Don't Let the Scale Wreck Your Self-Esteem! 4 Rules for Weighing Yourself," Shape, February 21, 2018.
  2. "How to Weigh Yourself the Right Way," U.S. News, February 27, 2015.

fitness | weight loss | health