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I'm trying to lose weight and it seems I'm not making much progress from day to day. How often should I weigh myself?

"Ask the Experts" at East Jefferson General Hospital [Web Exclusive Content]

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It is important to understand how the human body works. Fluctuation of body weight is common, especially in women. Therefore, it is possible that you weight yourself one day and then you weight yourself the very next day, you may have lost a few pounds or gained. So it is recommended that you weight yourself at the end of the week. This will assure a true body weight measurement.

From a physiological standpoint, daily weight loss is not recommended because of negative consequences. These consequences include high water weight loss and electrolyte imbalance that may lead to heart dysrhythmia. From a psychological standpoint, daily weighing is not recommended because of the discouragement that may occur. For example, if you workout really hard one day, and then you see that you weight more that day than the day before, negative thoughts may enter the mind such as quitting, feeling that you may have to work harder, or lack of trust on the program being used.

The main point to remember is to be patient. A weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week is considered healthy. This will assure a true fat weight loss and a less chance of false water weight loss.

Leonel Muralles, Disease Management Coordinator for the East Jefferson General Hospital Wellness Center, can be reached at 504.889.7203.

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