Research: Daily Self-Weighing and Weight Gain During the Holidays

Research wordResearch word

Daily self-weighing is effective in the prevention of holiday-associated weight gain.

Apple, Scale, and Tape Measure
Apple, Scale, and Tape Measure

Holiday weight gain is a huge problem for all Americans. Some gain as many as ten pounds or more from November to January. The average holiday weight gain is reported to be about 3-4 pounds which clearly and contributes to your weight gain. This change in weight usually results in the proverbial New Years Resolution. There is no quick fix to lose the weight but the answer might be at the tips of your toes.

A new study from 2019 looked at holiday weight gain and daily weighing​[1]​. The objective of the study was to test the efficacy of daily self-weighing using visual graphical feedback online to prevent the dreaded holiday weight gain. A total of 111 adults were enrolled in the study and then randomly assigned into either a control or test group. The test group performed daily self-weighing with a WI-FI scale that was graphed to provide visual feedback on weight change.  The group started the invention during the preholiday period before thanksgiving.

The researchers found that there was no change in weight with daily self-weighing group. This might be a discouraging result if the participants wanted to lose weight, but the control group gained over 5 pounds in the same period of time. In the control group, weight change was similar between individuals with overweight or obesity versus individuals with normal weight. The control group lost weight during the follow-up (-1.14 ± 0.43 kg, P = 0.01; v2 to v3) but retained 57% of weight gain; therefore, weight gain from v1 to v3 was significant (1.51 ± 0.39 kg, P < 0.001).

The bottom line: Individuals that performed daily self-weighing maintain their weight over the holidays. Clearly, daily self-weighing is a successful approach to prevent holiday weight gain. I recommend that you weigh yourself daily before and during the holidays as a means of prevention.

Reference:

  1. [1]
    S. Kaviani, M. vanDellen, and J. A. Cooper, “Daily Self‐Weighing to Prevent Holiday‐Associated Weight Gain in Adults,” Obesity, pp. 908–916, May 2019, doi: 10.1002/oby.22454. [Online]. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/oby.22454
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About the Author

ChuckH
I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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