Daily Weigh-In Helps Keep Weight Off
Some experts have said otherwise, but weighing yourself every day can be an effective way to lose weight and keep it off, according to new research published in the _Journal of Obesity. _
For their two-year study, researchers at Cornell University randomly assigned 162 overweight men and women to either an intervention group or a control group. All participants attended an educational session where they learned effective weight-loss strategies, including focusing on small changes in weight.
Members of the intervention group were then given instructions for daily self-monitoring. They also were given a bathroom scale and were instructed to weigh themselves at the same time every day and record the result to an online chart set up by the research team.
The intervention team was given a target weight-loss goal of 1 percent of their weight, which meant the participants needed to consume about 150 calories less than usual per day for about two weeks. Once they had maintained the 1 percent loss for 10 days, they were asked to lose another 1 percent. The pattern continued for a year with the end goal of losing 10 percent of their starting body weight. The control group was given a bathroom scale after the first year.
The results showed that the intervention group lost more weight than the control group. They also found that men were more successful at losing weight and keeping it off than women, but did not offer a theory for why that was the case.
On average, the intervention group lost 2 percent of their starting weight and kept it off during the two-year period. Although not a large amount, researchers say this is enough to indicate that self-weighing and visual feedback in a chart is a useful strategy for weight management.
These findings are significant because studies have shown that about 40 percent of weight through dieting is commonly put back on within a year and all of it is often regained within five years. As little as 5 percent weight loss has been shown to have medical benefits for overweight people.
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