How to properly use a bathroom scale

So you’re using a bathroom scale to track your weight.

Load-cell based bathroom scale: Affected by th...

Looks simple enough….

You know how to use it right out of the box.

It seems rather obvious, doesn’t it?

You stand on the scale. You see the number. You groan at the number. You step off the scale.

That’s it, right?

But, did you know there is a right way and wrong way to use a bathroom scale?

Here are a few tips for properly recording and tracking your weight.

First, always weight yourself at the same time every day.

Our weights rise and fall during the day, depending on our activity, meals, etc.

Generally, we are at our lightest, truest weight first thing in the morning, right after we have completed our usual morning toilet routine.


Because as we sleep, we exhale quite a bit of water vapor. And, as you know, water is quite heavy! We are also quite active overnight, as dozens of our muscles twitch and move while we sleep. So the combination of water loss and “exercise” burns calories while we sleep.

So, our suggestion is to weigh yourself at the same time every day, really before you start your breakfast and other morning routines.

Second, weigh yourself before your morning shower, not after.


Again, water is heavy. So long, wet hair can add a pound or two to the number you see on the scale. This is not your “real” weight, so there is no point in counting that water weight either. Plus, your skin will take up water as you shower, adding more weight to your “real” morning weight. So, weigh yourself before the morning shower.

Third, weigh yourself before your morning exercise routine, not after.

Drinking water and losing water through sweat can give you an artificially high or low number from your scale. Try weighing yourself before any morning workouts for the most accurate number possible.

Extra tip!

Keep track of your weight, preferably creating a spreadsheet graph, or even a simple bar graph with a pencil and paper. If you are trying to lose, or even gain weight, the angle and slope of the line over time can be a great motivator to keep going. Is the line flat? That’s a great clue to change something in you routine if you’re trying to gain or lose weight.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and it’s also true when it comes to your weight loss chart. So start tracking your weight…but not today. Wait until tomorrow morning!