The right way to weigh yourself

February 13, 2018 by Julie Davis, Healthday Reporter

(HealthDay)—The scale can be your best friend—or your worst enemy—when you're on a diet.

But whether or not you like what you see, a isn't the only—or the best—way to track your progress. Rather than looking for a particular number on a scale, measure success in more meaningful ways.

Changes in your , or BMI (a ratio of your weight and height), is one good indicator. Use an to plug in your stats. As your weight drops, you should see your BMI go down, too. Note that a normal BMI range is between 18.5 and 24.9, while 25 to 29.9 indicates overweight, and 30 or greater signals obesity.

Because a large waist circumference puts you at greater risk of diabetes, heart disease and other health problems, you can also chart your progress with a tape measure. Use it to track the inches around your chest, hips, thighs, calves and upper arms, as well as your middle.

How your clothes fit is an easy way to know if you're dropping pounds. Grab a tight pair of pants from your closet and try them on every two weeks, noting any changes.

If you're still focused on using the scale, make your weight-loss expectations a realistic one-half to one pound a week, to avoid being discouraged by the number you see.

Also, keep in mind that Monday isn't the best day for a weigh-in. Because people tend to eat more on the weekends and less during the week, Friday morning is a better time to get on the scale.

Explore further: Ways to track weight loss success

More information: The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has an easy-to-use online BMI calculator that you can even download to your smartphone.

Related Stories

Ways to track weight loss success

May 23, 2017
(HealthDay)—Self-monitoring is part of virtually every weight loss plan, and weighing yourself is a key part of self-monitoring. After all, the one thing every dieter wants to see is results.

BMI is underestimating obesity in Australia, waist circumference needs to be measured too

December 20, 2017
A new study has found the waistlines of Australian adults are increasing faster than body weight.

Readjusting calorie consumption as you lose weight

January 12, 2018
(HealthDay)—If you find that your weekly weight loss is slowing down, maybe it's time to readjust your calorie intake.

Study: Even the normal-weight should watch that apple shape

November 9, 2015
A pot belly can be a bad thing—even if you're not considered overweight.

Weight-loss surgery alone won't keep the pounds off

January 30, 2018
(HealthDay)—If you think your battle against obesity ends on the operating table, you're mistaken.

Five steps to get back on the diet track after the holidays

January 2, 2018
(HealthDay)—Even though successful dieters work harder than non-dieters at maintaining their weight over the holidays, they often face more weight gain than thinner people. And gaining weight often goes on for another month ...

Recommended for you

PFASs, chemicals commonly found in environment, may interfere with body weight regulation

February 13, 2018
A class of chemicals used in many industrial and consumer products was linked with greater weight gain after dieting, particularly among women, according to a study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The chemicals—perfluoroalkyl ...

Study shows benefits of exercise can outweigh health effects of severe obesity

February 12, 2018
Can you be fit and healthy even if you're overweight? That's the question researchers at York University's Faculty of Health set out to answer in a new study that shows physical activity may be equally and perhaps even more ...

Obesity drives US health care costs up by 29 percent, varies by state

February 7, 2018
The prevalence of obesity has risen dramatically in the U.S., but there has been little information about the economic impact of this trend for individual states.

Why diets backfire: A year or more after weight loss, the desire to eat grows stronger

February 2, 2018
Losing weight is, for most people, the easy part. The bigger challenge is trying to keep it off for more than a year.

Scientists identify weight loss ripple effect

February 1, 2018
People who make an effort to lose weight aren't just helping themselves, they may be helping others too.

To improve self-control, call weight loss what it is: Difficult

January 29, 2018
To reach your New Year's fitness goals, a bit of reverse psychology might be in order. Telling people that weight loss is extremely challenging—rather than imparting a "You can do it!" mantra—motivated them to shed more ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.