If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you no doubt know the feeling of dread that can come from standing on the bathroom scales as you wait for the dial to confirm whether you’ve managed to ditch those excess pounds. However new research has now revealed that stepping on the scales every day could actually be the key to weight loss.
The study, published in Obesity, found that adults who check their weight every day are far more likely to lose or maintain their weight, rather than gain any unwanted extra pounds.
Researchers from the University of Georgia analysed 111 adults, aged between 18 and 65, focusing primarily on holiday weight, claiming that people put on an average of 0.4 to 1.5 kg during the Christmas and New Year period.
And it seems the harsh reminder of seeing their weight displayed on the scales each day motivated them to exercise or monitor their food intake more carefully, with the researchers concluding that daily self weighing is a successful approach to managing weight gain.
Researchers weighed participants before and after the festive period, then followed up with participants, who’d continued to weigh themselves daily, 14 weeks later.
The results showed that those who were stepping on the scales each day had lost on average 0.22lbs (0.1kg), while those who didn’t weight themselves daily did lose some of their holiday weight, but still weighed an average of 1.8kg more than they did at the start of the study.
“Maybe they exercise a little bit more the next day [after seeing a weight increase] or they watch what they are eating more carefully,” lead author Jamie Cooper said, reports the Daily Mail.
While fellow author Michelle van Dellen, added: “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 [sic] change. Daily self-weighing ends up doing that for people in a really clear way.”
Earlier this year, a separate study found that following a high-protein low-calorie diet in your 60s and beyond can lead to weight loss, while maintaining muscle mass and bone quality.
The study, published in Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism in February, analysed data from a randomised control trial. The research results showed that a high-protein low-calorie diet helps older adults with obesity lose more weight, maintain more muscle mass and improve bone quality.
“Doctors hesitate to recommend weight loss for fear that losing muscle and bone could cause mobility issues or increase the risk of injury,” Kristen Beavers, a researcher from Wake Forest University in North Carolina, said.
“This study suggests that a diet high in protein and low in calories can give seniors the health benefits of weight loss while keeping the muscle and bone they need for better quality of life as they age.”
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