Recording your weight regularly is a powerful motivating tool. It can give you valuable feedback on how your weight-loss efforts are paying off and what's not working. Moreover, studies suggest that keeping track of your scale readings over time might help prevent you from gaining weight. Since your weight can fluctuate greatly from day to day, it's not important to weigh yourself daily-but some people find it easier to remember that way. Weighing once weekly is fine too.

Use the Weight Tracker Chart (pdf) to keep track of weight changes over time and keep your progress in perspective. Make several copies and keep it handy near your scale. Here's how to customize your chart:

1. Starting with today's date, enter dates along the horizontal bar at the top of the page-using daily or weekly dates, depending on how often you weigh yourself.

2. Write in your current weight at the "starting weight" space along the horizontal axis. You can leave this blank if you'd rather keep it private!)

3. Plot your daily or weekly weight as points o the chart, connecting the dots with a line.

You'll see firsthand that weight loss never follows a straight line.

The EatingWell Diet (2007)