If you've been weighing yourself regularly throughout this challenge, then you're onto something; if not, you should start.
Why? Recent research shows an association between weighing yourself and weight loss. In a study, the more often people stepped on the scale, the more weight they lost
Daily Weigh In's might prove a great incentive for some Couch Potatos
There are a handful of things we all dread. Like scrubbing the bottom of fridge drawers, stepping in a gym shower without flip flops, and, most likely, hopping on a scale…especially around the holidays.
But a new study in the journal PLOS ONE proves it’s worth sucking it up and getting on the scale more often, because the frequency of scale-stepping can actually be indicative of weight loss.
In the study, researchers at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab tracked more than a year’s worth of weigh-ins from 40 overweight women who wanted to lose weight.
The result: The more often they got on the scale, the more pounds they shed. Meanwhile, those who waited more than a week between scale visits actually ended up gaining weight.
(Though it’s worth mentioning that the study can’t prove causation, just a link between weigh-ins and weight loss. It’s possible that women who weren’t as serious about slimming down simply weighed themselves less.)
Why might a scale reading help you drop pounds? Researchers point to its ability to keep you on track—the whole “knowledge is power” sort of thing. So if you tack on a pound or two after a few days of holiday revelry, you might look at the scale the next morning and realize, hey, I need to go back to my healthy habits starting today.
If you’re really not into the idea of a daily scale routine, take note: The study found that the longest the women could go without weighing themselves and not gaining weight was around six days. So a weekly check-in could be a good idea. The best day to do it, per another study by the same team? On Wednesdays, when the reading will be the most accurate (people weigh the least on Friday mornings and the most on Sunday nights).
And for those who are in the market for a new scale, here are five smart ones worth considering:
IntroductionRegular self-monitoring of body weight is an effective intervention in weight loss programmes and, especially, in weight maintenance –.
Frequent self-monitoring is assumed to improve self-awareness, provide early detection of subtle weight increases and prevent weight regain after weight loss .
Regular self-weighing is recommended as part of the behavioral therapy for weight management by the National Institute of Health and is deemed ‘crucial’ for long-term weight maintenance .
Frequent self-monitoring may also promote weight management during the holiday season when the risk of weight gain is high.
Stepping on the scale is common among dieters but how does the frequency of weigh-ins impact weight?
A new study in PLOS ONE showed that the more frequently dieters weighed themselves the more weight they lost, and if participants went more than a week without weighing themselves, they gained weight.
The researchers analysed 2,838 weight measurements (up to a years' worth of weigh-ins) from 40 overweight individuals (with a body mass index of 25 and over) who indicated that weight loss was a personal goal or concern. The researchers found that weight loss was related to how often individuals weighed themselves.
The more often you weigh yourself the more weight you lose. This observational study cannot prove causation - it may be that less serious dieters weight themselves less or that dieters who stop losing weight stop weighting themselves.
The average time that participants could go between weighting without gaining weight was 5.8 days or about a weekly weigh-in.
Weigh yourself at least once a week if you wish to lose weight, and weighing yourself everyday may help you stay on track. A previous study by the same research team found that your weight naturally fluctuates throughout the week and that most people weigh the least on Wednesday.
The bottom line is: If you want to lose weight, it’s best to weigh yourself every day. But if you weigh yourself only once a week, do it on Wednesday because that will give you the most accurate reading.
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