Wednesday June 24 2015
“Stepping on the scales every day could be the key to weight loss, a study has found,” the Mail Online reports. This report was based on a US study which suggested daily weighing can lead to a small, though sustainable, loss in weight. Regular weighing may help prevent overeating.
The study involved 162 overweight and obese adults trying to lose weight, who were allocated to either weighing themselves daily and tracking their weight on a graph, or a control group. Both groups were given an educational session about other evidence-based strategies they could use to lose weight.
After a year, those weighing themselves lost more weight – about two kilos more on average – than those who didn’t. This difference seen in the averages between the two groups seemed largely to be due to an effect in men. The results in women in both of the groups were similar.
There are limitations to this study. For example, participants in the weighing group may have felt more pressure to lose weight than the control group as they were receiving the intervention.
Also, the fact that the weight loss was mainly found in a small group of men (just 40) is a preliminary finding, and needs to be confirmed in a larger sample.
Weight monitoring is already a part of many weight loss strategies. For some people, weighing themselves regularly may not be helpful and could actually be discouraging. Different people often find different ways to motivate themselves and a one-size fits all solution may not be effective.