A Simple Weight-Loss Strategy

Problem

You’d really, really like to lose some weight.

Reality

Weighing yourself every day will improve your odds of losing the weight and keeping it off, according to a study in the Journal of Obesity.

Method

162 subjects were separated into a control group and an intervention group. They were given a target of one per cent weight loss, which they could lose however they liked. For most people, this only meant cutting 150 calories per day for two weeks. The control group didn’t weigh themselves daily, while the intervention group did.

Once they lost that weight and kept it off for ten days, they had to lose another one per cent—and so on. The ultimate goal was losing ten per cent of their starting weight. The weight loss went on for a year, with the researchers checking in over the second year.

Results

People who weighed themselves daily kept the weight off.

The Takeaway

Other studies have shown that about forty per cent of weight loss is regained within a year, and almost all weight loss is regained at the end of five years. Those are scary numbers—but daily weigh-ins can help. Obviously, a daily weigh-in isn’t a magic bullet, but it is a data point. And think of it this way: the scale doesn’t lie to you in the way that you might lie to yourself. So invest in a good one.


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