Simply stepping on the bathroom scale may actually be a weight loss strategy, reported researchers in a two-year study that found a link between daily weigh-ins and increased weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Published in the Journal of Obesity, the study divided approximately 160 overweight men and women into two groups and gave them different instructions for the first year: group one was told to weigh themselves daily using a typical bathroom scale; group two was told not to weigh themselves. Both groups were instructed to lose weight using the method of their choice (such as cutting calories or eating smaller meals), with an overall goal of losing 10% of their body weight. During the second year, both groups were instructed to weigh themselves daily while continuing the weight loss strategy of their choice. At the end of the study, the researchers found:
In the first year, around 28% of the participants that weighed-in daily (group one) lost 5% of their body weight or more, while only around 10% of the participants without daily weigh-ins (group two) lost that amount of weight.
In the second year, participants in group one maintained the weight lost in the first year, and group two, now weighing-in daily, lost a similar amount of weight as group one did in their first year. These results were particularly apparent in male participants.
While the study was small and the weight lost also relatively small, this study does suggest daily weigh-ins may be an important contributor to weight loss, particularly for males. Its also encouraging news for weight loss maintenance, given that some studies show 40% of weight loss is regained within a year.
Source: Journal of Obesity