If you’re aiming to lose weight, it turns out the time of day you step on the scale matters when it comes to tracking your progress.
Almost a month into 2024, weight loss may still be top of mind for the scores of people who made it their New Year’s resolution.
Now, doctors are sharing the best time to weigh yourself — the morning — while advocating for consistency when you step on the scale.
“Weight can fluctuate during the day, so, it’s good to pick the same time each day to weigh yourself,” Dr Mert Erogul told Parade recently.
The slight fluctuations in weight between morning and evening can be attributed to the food and drinks consumed throughout the day, to the activities and exercises performed, and nominally, to bowel movements.
People tend to weigh less when they wake up because breathing and sweating as they sleep causes them to lose fluids. A study also found that adults burn around 50 calories an hour during slumber.
“When you wake up in the morning, you’re dehydrated because you haven’t been drinking during the night. Then, you go to the bathroom and pee out the fluid,” Dr Neil Floch explained to Parade. “If you have a bowel movement, you could lose another quarter of a pound to a pound from that. So this is when you will be at your lowest weight.”
“Then, once you get dressed, eat breakfast and have something to drink, your weight is going to go up slightly,” he added.
The doctors’ advice comes as losing weight placed fourth in a Forbes Health/OnePoll survey about 2024 New Year’s resolutions.
33.8 per cent of the 1,000 adults polled said they want to lose weight — while 48 per cent set the goal of improving fitness; 38 per cent aim to fix their finances; and 36 per cent seek better mental health.
All the while, our obesity crisis rages on.
Excess weight and obesity have been found to raise the risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and several types of cancer.
Erogul says people trying to lose weight should look to shed 500 grams to one kilogram a week.
“Very low-calorie diets are associated with greater early weight loss, but no difference in the long term,” he said.