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Progress and weighing frequency

So on my first week, and this is even with not really following the diet to the letter and eating stuff like whole-wheat bread for lunch, I clocked a 4-lb. weight loss.

I then had a cheat day, which I think could have corresponded to a 1 pound gain.

Then, back on the same regimen, weighed myself the following week at the same day and time as the previous week, and gained back 2 of the four pounds I initially lost. Mathematically this is the very definition of two steps forward, one step back.

Wondering how much this could be due to the cheat day or variance in water weight. I've seen some weird things with weigh-ins: A year ago I did an experiment in which I ate two doughnuts and drank three bourbons, and weighed a pound less the next day even the diet between the days was identical except for the doughnuts and I weighed myself at the same time both days.

So the question is: How often should you weigh yourself? I really won't notice much of a difference until I lose ten pounds or so and the Jeans fit better..


The Best Answer

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I track it daily now, but initially, I didn't track it at all (too embarrassed). But from the data, you can see a great deal of daily variability. Until something tracks the same for a week, it is hard to tell exactly what is going on. I am at 204.8 this morning and could easily get below 200 by tomorrow morning (sit in the sun and sweat all day without drinking a lot of water) or get above 210 (eat like a pig, drink like a fish). Since it's cheat day, it may be the latter.


The solid black lines are trend lines inserted by Excel. Those are the most interesting to track and tell me when I will hit my initial target weight of 200 lbs (22 July) and my end target weight of 185 lbs (26 Aug). If they show up, the dotted black lines are the original trend. As you can see, the weight loss has lessened as I went, but lately it's been gangbusters.

Let me know if the image doesn't show properly.


  • Tomhole commented Jul 8th 2012:

    And I did gain 5 lbs today on cheat day. Popped out of ketosis, too.

  • sabre2hopes commented Jul 9th 2012:

    intriguing... thank you for the chart.

    i'm noticing the same jump up post cheat day... still trying to figure out the stall though

  • sufferingoptional commented Jul 9th 2012:

    Could you share how you generated that graph, tomhole? been interested in doing something similar for myself.

  • Tomhole commented Jul 10th 2012:

    In Excel. The second data set is a bit tricky to get the dual y axis labels. The dotted lines are just drawn in lines.

All Answers


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Nice progress - sounds like even though you aren't following SCD super strictly, you are eating healthier, which is what we're here for, right? :)

I think the weighing and measuring are really a matter of personal preference, as others have mentioned. I, for example, don't have a scale and don't care to purchase one. I am doing a set of once-weekly photos, using a measuring tape every 1-2 days (I do this after having breakfast and drinking water, because it's hot here and without a/c I tend to sweat a lot during the sleeping hours) and paying close attention to particular items of clothing fit (like your jeans method!). Honestly I wouldn't even do the measuring tape, but some fellow SCD-ers convinced me that a form of measurement is the best way to see results and keep motivated. It's also helpful for goal setting, because I'm a bit wishy-washy about goals, i.e. "i want to look better" - not too concrete :D

Go ahead and weigh yourself every day, especially if you enjoy the science of your progress - in some cases it can help you to see a lot of cause-and-effect relationships over time. Just don't take it too seriously.

I usually read that people can judge their overall progress by picking a weight reading once every week - same time, same day of the week (like Minnesota said), so that they can get a better view of how their body is changing without the daily fluctuations/water weight changes.

Don't get frustrated at the step back - just re-evaluate how you're going about this. If you really want to see results faster, consider following SCD strictly until you've hit your personal goals and can work on maintaining the progress you've made, then you can try adding the little things like whole-wheat bread back into your life.

Good luck!


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Depends how much you like to track. Ideally once a week before cheat day is a good plan. Some people prefer everyday before they eat. It's really up to you, just make sure you do it at the same time of day and under the same conditions so you don't get wacky results. Water weight can fluctuate anywhere from 1-5 lbs on any given day, depending on a variety of factors. Hope that helps!


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