For anyone seeking to lose weight and keep it off, using the scale every day and writing down your results is a simple fat loss strategy that works.
According to a two-year Cornell study, recently published in the Journal of Obesity, self-weighing and tracking the results frequently on a chart were effective for both losing weight and keeping it off, especially for men (Journal of Obesity, 2015).
With two-thirds of adults in the U.S. overweight or obese (National Institutes of Health), obesity is a major issue and rates have been steadily increasing for the past five years.
In this study, 162 men and women were randomly separated into either a control group or experimental group. Those in the experimental group were asked to weigh themselves every day, at a consistent time and record their weight on the computer program set up by researchers. They were allowed to do anything they wanted to lose weight, and were given a weight loss goal of 1 percent. This is equal to cutting back about 150 calories per day for two weeks (Journal of Obesity, 2015).
“Because we didn’t prescribe, everyone found their own way of losing the weight, “whether they reduced portion size, stopped snacking or skipped a meal, said David Levitsky, professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell. The overall good was to lose 10 percent of their initial body weight and maintain that weight for another year.
Only 8 percent reached that 10 percent goal, with another 28 percent losing about 5 percent of his or her total body weight. There was a huge difference between men and women, with men losing far more weight than women.
“It seems to work better for men than women, for reasons we cannot figure out yet,” Levitsky said.
I believe that stepping on the scale and tracking your results helps you realize what’s working for you and how your eating habits are affecting you. Levitsky says that all you need is a bathroom scale and an excel spreadsheet or even a piece a graph paper.
Participants that lost weight the first year in the program were able to keep it off throughout the second year. This is important because research shows that nearly 40 percent of weight on any diet plan is regained in one year while about 100 percent of weight loss is regained at five years.
Making small diet changes and daily physical activity is the key to weight loss but monitoring your weight daily is also important for weight management.
If you are ready to lose weight, using that scale and tracking your results on a spreadsheet every day may be the best option for you to conquer fat loss.
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Source: Carly R. Pacanowski and David A. Levitsky, “Frequent Self-Weighing and Visual Feedback for Weight Loss in Overweight Adults,” Journal of Obesity, vol. 2015, Article ID 763680, 9 pages, 2015. doi:10.1155/2015/763680