With more than 37% of American adults living with obesity, and more than 32% overweight, any strategies for curbing weight gain should be closely examined to see if they could help the situation.
Now, new research suggests that weighing ourselves every day could effectively prevent weight gain – especially over the usually over-indulgent holiday period.
Published in the journal Obesity, the research was led by Jamie Cooper, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Georgia in Athens.
For the study, Cooper and colleagues recruited 111 adults aged between 18 and 65. Each participant was told to try and maintain their starting weight during the holiday season, but wasn’t given any advice on how to do this. Instead, the participants were all told to weigh themselves – some daily and others less frequently.
At the end of the 14-week trial, the participants who weighed themselves every day either maintained their starting weight or actually lost weight. In contrast, the participants who did not weigh themselves every day all gained weight.
The researchers suggest that by weighing themselves every day and being able to exercise more/eat less to combat small weight increases, those participants were able to maintain their starting weight or lose weight.
Speaking about the findings of the research, Study co-author Michelle vanDellen, said: “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 behavioural change. Daily self-weighing ends up doing that for people in a really clear way.”