If you are trying to shed a few pounds this year, a new study from The Obese Society advises that daily self-weighing might be a big help. The study began with observations about weight gain during the holidays. Obviously it is quite common for people to put on a few pounds over the winter holidays but existing research shows that this weight gain can persist beyond the New Year and contribute to annual weight gain.
Of course, those who are already overweight or obese seem to be more vulnerable to weight gain, but the study also warns that regular—consistent, daily—exercise does not protect from this holiday weight gain trend.
However, the study advises that people who weigh themselves on a daily basis—in conjunction with receiving graphical feedback of their weight changes—are better at maintaining that weight loss. Some, in fact, appear to consistently lose weight during that holiday season, when compared with those who did not perform any daily self-weighing.
For the study, The Obese Society—a scientific group committed to the study of obesity-related topics—looked at data from 111 adults between the ages of 18 and 65. From November 2017 to January 2018, participants were to follow instructions about self-weighing; another group was instructed not to self-weigh, but try to maintain body weight. The first group was found to have either maintained their body weight or lost weight while the second group actually gained weight (over the holidays).
As such, the study seems to correlate that simple monitoring of weight, daily, is enough to compel people to make changes in their behavior. This might include eating less or moving more, but in a way that has a positive impact.
Study author Jamie Cooper, Phd theorizes, “Maybe they exercise a little bit more the next day after seeing a weight increase, or they watch what they are eating more carefully.”
The University of Georgia Associate Professor goes on to say, “The subjects self-select how they are going to modify their behavior, which can be effective because we know that interventions are not one-size-fits-all.”