It seems as though every time I open my browser I am bombarded with unsolicited and eye-roll-worthy advice on how to slim down; a new diet to try, one exercise move that will finally give me abs, reasons why my diet isn’t working, and the list goes on and on. Well, I finally came across a weight loss study that gives some reasonable advice; people who weigh themselves lose more weight, according to a new study from Tempere University of Technology in Finland. Does this mean I should own a scale?
The study, published in PLOS ONE, examined the dieting habits of 40 overweight individuals who were trying to shed some pounds. Researchers analyzed around 2,800 weigh-ins, or up to a years worth of weight measurements, from the participants. They found that the more frequently the subjects weighed themselves, the more likely they were to lose weight. The study also revealed that the longest that participants went without gaining weight or weighing themselves was 5.8 days. In other words, in order to continue losing weight, they had to check the scale at least once a week.
The researchers behind the study recognize that there could be other explanations for the link between weigh-ins and weight loss; after all, its not like simply stepping on a scale will automatically drop two pounds. Rather, it’s possible that the subjects who weighed themselves more often were more committed to their weight-loss goal, and perhaps those who were less serious about slimming down were less likely to look at the scale because they didn’t want to see a reflection of their poor efforts. This being said, weigh-ins are a good way to hold yourself accountable for your actions and a source of positive encouragement for those meeting their goals.
But this research doesn’t mean that you should obsessively weigh yourself if you are trying to lose weight. Our body weight changes daily, so continually weighing yourself and seeing those natural, minor weight fluctuations can lead to discouragement and frustrations. Authors of the study suggest that those with a desire to slim down weigh themselves once a week and on Wednesday, the day of the week that we tend to be the lightest.
So is this that one crazy tip that will finally help you lose 10 pounds? Nope. Rather, the study shows how dieters can use the scale as a helpful tool for staying on track. If only all weight loss tips were realistic and helpful as this one. But, do with this info what you will — I personally think your bod looks great.