To get an accurate assessment of your fluid level, you need to know your dry weight. This is a baseline measurement of what you weigh without excess fluid accumulation. If you’ve recently been in the hospital, your weight when you were discharged is likely to be your dry weight. (Excess fluid buildup would have been treated during your hospital stay.) Otherwise, ask your provider what you should use as your dry weight.
Your goal is to keep your weight as close as possible to your dry weight. When you look for trends, compare your daily weight to your dry weight and to the previous day’s results. You’ll get the most accurate picture of your weight trends by sticking to a daily routine.
To get the best results, follow these steps:
- Record your dry weight.
- Weigh yourself at the same time every day. A good time to weigh yourself is first thing in the morning after you go to the bathroom and before you eat breakfast.
- Use the same scale every day. Place the scale on a hard floor. A digital scale with large numbers is easier to read. “Zero” the scale before you weigh yourself to ensure accuracy.
- Weigh yourself in the same kind of clothing or no clothing at all
- Write down your results immediately after weighing yourself, so that you don’t forget. Use a notebook, create a chart to keep your records, or use a smartphone app or computer program. (Or consider buying a so-called smart scale that will record your weight and send the data automatically to your computer, tablet, or smartphone.)
Take action if
- you gain or lose more than 2 pounds over two days or more than 5 pounds in a week
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