There May Actually Be a Case for Weighing Yourself Daily, New Study Shows



We recently posted about why weighing oneself daily can be misleading and discourage weight-loss efforts. And many trainers and dietitians will back this up. But as with most topics in the science of nutrition and fitness, there’s a flip-side to this coin. According to Medical News Today, a study at Cornell University found evidence that frequent self-weighing and visually charting one’s progress can actually be an effective way to lose a modest amount of weight and keep it off.

The study went like this: All 162 overweight participants were initially educated on evidence-based methods of losing weight, then they were then split into two groups. Members of the first group were given a scale and instructed to weigh themselves at the same time every day, and chart their progress on a website for the first year of the study. They were also instructed to lose one percent of their bodyweight at a time, maintain that loss for 10 days, then lose another one percent, in order to reach a goal of 10 percent by the end of the year. For the first year, the second group was simply asked to try to lose weight any way they normally would.

After the first year, the first group had lost significantly more weight than the control group, about 5.7 pounds versus 1.1 pounds on average. Although definitely a modest amount of weight loss either way, the more impressive finding was that, while continuing to weigh themselves every day, the first group managed to maintain their weight loss during the second year of the study. And during the second year, the second group was given the same instructions the first group was given the year before, and lost about the same amount of weight.

Professor David Levitsky, senior author of the study, offers the explanation that weighing yourself daily and getting the visual feedback of a graph forces you to recognize the link between your weight and what you eat, and you adjust your behavior accordingly.

So, in the quest to slim down, to weigh or not to weigh? That is the question, and it seems the answer may not be so clear.

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