For decades, respected weight-loss programs have urged people to avoid daily weigh-ins and stick to stepping on a bathroom scale once a week to see how their diets are progressing. Admittedly, this is tough if you have embarked on a diet and can't wait to see how you are doing.

However, weight-loss programs and health experts note that it's possible to get incorrect readings, since your weight scale numbers can fluctuate every 24 hours, affected by such things as water retention, hormones, bowel activity and increases in muscle mass (which weighs more than fat but is a good thing).

Programs such as Weight Watchers prefer a weekly weigh-in schedule. Checking your weight daily could show temporarily incorrect results that discourage dieters so much that they just give up.

Far more serious is the possibility that a small percentage of individuals might become preoccupied to an extreme degree with the numbers on the scale. That could prompt terrible eating and exercise habits and even lead to eating disorders, which are complex and serious illnesses that can be fatal. Weighing yourself obsessively is one of many signs of potentially disordered eating.

However, there are voices in the health field that recommend a daily "let's see how I'm doing" session with that trusty bathroom scale   assuming that you are able to keep things in perspective. Whether you use a digital bathroom scale or the old analog type, it might help you if you have a healthy outlook.

Psychology Today in 2013 presented findings from an 18-month study from Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Medicine that was overseen by Jessica LaRose. LaRose found that study participants who weighed in every day lost more pounds than those who checked their weight less frequently.

"Stepping on the scale each day provides immediate and concrete information about how eating and activity behaviors impact your weight," LaRose told the magazine. "It cues you to make changes as needed to stay on track with your goals. Daily self-weighing is not magic, however. The key is to use the information from the scale to make changes in your eating and activity."

She did note that the study encouraged participants to avoid making personal judgments about the numbers and not see their daily weight as good or bad, depending on the results. Instead, they were encouraged to see this as simply information to facilitate lifestyle changes. LaRose also cautioned against weighing yourself daily if you have any signs of unhealthy body perception.

"Daily weighing would not be a good idea for someone who is currently undergoing treatment for or displaying symptoms consistent with disordered eating   for example, fasting, skipping meals, vomiting or abusing laxatives," she said. "Also, data on the benefits of daily self-weighing are primarily drawn from adult populations. We would not advise it for children or adolescents."

Even if you own one of the best bathroom scales on the market and are eager to take off unwanted pounds, virtually all legitimate weight-loss sources express one common theme. It is fine to weigh yourself, but be careful not to let the numbers start ruling your life. If you start exhibiting unhealthy behaviors to make those numbers go down at any cost, such as self-induced vomiting, misusing laxatives, starvation or obsessive workouts, forget the scale and the diet and get professional help.

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