How often should you step on the scale?

- In the battle for weight loss, the scale may not be your enemy after all.

When's the last time you stepped on the scale? If you avoid it, recent research from Cornell University might change your mind.

In the 2-year study, daily weigh ins helped people lose weight and keep it off. So does this mean you have to get on the scale every day? Dr. Leslie Heinberg at the Cleveland Clinic said there are some benefits to checking in daily. And the more information you get, the better off you're going to be.

"If you try to lose weight without gathering some of this information, it's a little bit like driving your car in a new town without the GPS. You might stumble onto your destination, but by having all that information, by having a roadmap, you're going to get there much more quickly and efficiently," she said.

But here's what you have to remember - Heinberg said, on average, that adults can see their weight fluctuate as much as five to six pounds per day.

Based on fluid retention or even the time of day they step on the scale, she said there is a danger in weighing yourself too much as it can make you feel like your efforts aren't paying off and cause you to give up.

"The scale, unfortunately, is a bad barometer of behavior change. You can do absolutely everything right and then you get on the scale and you're up two pounds," Heinberg said.

At the very least, get on the scale once a week. Wednesday might be a good day because it's not too close to the weekend.

As you keep track of your weight, remember it's part of the bigger data picture - waist circumference, blood pressure, how your jeans fit. It's all part of the whole story.

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