(Spoiler alert: The short answer is at least daily)
Imagine driving down the highway in a speed enforcement zone. There are speed cameras and police officers giving out tickets. You are late for a meeting and you neither want to spend the time nor the money on a ticket. Would you look at your speedometer? Of course you would. The consequences of being fat are more far reaching than getting a speeding ticket, but a huge number of people never look at the speedometer–in this case the scale–to monitor how they are doing.
Diet books and websites are full of recommendations about how infrequently you should weigh yourself. Some say weekly, others say monthly and a few say never. Why the myth that not weighing yourself is healthy began and why it is perpetuated is beyond me. What you weigh today is a reality you must face. What you weigh tomorrow is part of that reality. How your food and beverage consumption affects your weight is important. Of course your weight will vary from day to day. You should become familiar with the variance and face reality. What effect does drinking a liter of water have on your weight? Might as well find out. What happens to your weight when you go overboard and drink a six pack of beer and eat half a pizza? You did it, so face reality. If pigging out on pizza and beer causes you to gain three pounds, you might as well know it immediately, instead of waiting a week or month to see the results, and in which time you might repeat the experience three more times because you did not face the consequences the first time.
Science provides the best answer to how often you should weigh yourself. A number of studies show that people who weigh themselves daily take off weight more quickly and keep the weight off better. A comprehensive study of the research finds there is evidence of the benefit of daily weighing, but no studies that show harm. Daily weighing is a no- cost, low-effort way to maximize your weight loss. Just as the price of liberty is constant vigilance, the price of fitness is constant monitoring. A key aspect of The Simply Fit Diet, both when you are losing weight and later when you transition to maintaining your weight, is monitoring. Recording your weight at least daily is a strategy you should adopt now and maintain for the rest of your life.