Daily Self-Weighing Can Help Prevent Weight Gain and Help You Lose Weight
We have all heard the statement that we should not weigh ourselves every day because it can become discouraging and cause you to have self-doubt and quit your health kick prematurely. I have always ignored the recommendations to not weigh myself daily because I found that daily feedback on my progress encourages me to work harder when I am not meeting my goals, but then again I am able to recognize that I will have plateaus and road bumps on my road to success.
Research On Daily Self-Weighing:
- Self-weighing increases weight loss success. A longitudinal study from 2005 looked at over 3,000 patients in Minnesota and their weighing frequency and weight loss success. They found that a higher weighing frequency was associated with greater 24-month weight loss or less weight gain. This correlation was confirmed by a meta-analysis of six similar studies and found a significant association between self-weighing and weight loss but admitted that subject adherence was a limitation of the studies reviewed.
- Self-weighing increases weight maintenance. A second study performed by Drexel University looked at 3,000 subjects trying to maintain their weight loss and their self-weighing frequency. They determined that consistent self-weighing may help individuals maintain their successful weight loss by allowing them to catch weight gains before they escalate and make behavior changes to prevent additional weight gain. The decrease in weighing was indirectly linked to weight gain by this study.
- Connected weight monitoring can help with weight loss. One last study from Duke University looked at two groups of subjects totaling 91. The study compared subjects who weighed themselves daily and uploaded the information online. The subjects were given email advice to help with their weight loss. The researchers indicate that an intervention focusing on daily self-weighing can produce clinically significant weight loss when compared to the control group.
The Bottom Line: Daily self-weighing can keep you accountable and help you intervene as you gain weight. The most important thing is to make a change before you gain a bunch of weight back. I recommend that you keep within about 5 pounds of your goal weight and return to a diet and exercise program as soon as you hit that window of 5 pounds.