By: Najja Parker, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
If you’re trying to lose weight, you should hop on the scale daily, according to a new report.
To do so, they split 111 adults, aged 18 to 65, into two groups. One group was required to avoid weight gain and to weigh themselves daily on scales that also provided graphical feedback on their weight fluctuations. Those in the control group were given no instructions at all.
After analyzing the results, the subjects who weighed themselves daily maintained or lost weight during and after the holiday season. However, those in the control group gained weight.
“Maybe they exercise a little bit more the next day (after seeing a weight increase) or they watch what they’re eating more carefully,” co-author Jamie Cooper said in a
statement. “The subjects self-select how they’re going to modify their behavior, which can be effective because we know that interventions are not one-size-fits-all.”
She also said, “People are really sensitive to discrepancies or differences between their current selves and their standard or goal. When they see that discrepancy, it tends to lead to behavioral change. Daily self-weighing ends up doing that for people in a really clear way.”
The scientists believe the subjects may have also changed their behavioral patterns, because they knew their weight would be recorded daily. They said their study was a form of intervention, it was effective because of its simplicity and adaptability.
The team now hopes future investigations will assess self-weighing using scales that do not provide additional feedback.