Step on and look at the numbers, right? Not so fast. For more accurate readings, follow these tips from Maria Kinirons, director of food and nutrition for Weight Watchers North America:
Weigh yourself weekly. Weight can fluctuate by two or three pounds from day to day based on fluid changes. Weekly weigh-ins will give you a more realistic -- and probably less frustrating -- picture. "Track it on a chart for a visual reminder of progress," Kinirons says.
Stick to one time of day. Again, weight can vary by two or more pounds over the course of a day. If you weigh yourself at night and the next morning, you may "drop" several pounds due to fluid loss during sleep. Many people prefer weigh-ins first thing in the morning, before eating.
Position your scale correctly. Scales should sit on a hard, level surface. Carpeting can throw off readings by several percentage points.
Consider your clothing. Wear the same type of clothes at each weigh-in so your outfit won't be a factor. A pair of jeans and a belt, for example, can add up to two pounds.
Go scale shopping. Some models now offer advanced functions such as measuring body fat or calculating weight loss over time. If certain information would motivate you, see if a new scale fits your budget.
Don't get too hung up. Numbers on a scale are only one measure of healthy weight loss. Also consider body fat percentage, muscle tone and loss of inches from your body.