Maintaining your weight loss results can be among the most challenging parts of a weight loss journey, but research suggests that weighing yourself regularly could be an effective way to help you reach your weight loss goals, and more importantly, help you maintain your results.
Weighing for Weight Loss
In a recent study published in the Journal of Obesity, researchers gathered almost 170 adult volunteers who were overweight and randomly assigned them to one of two groups. The first group was instructed to weigh themselves daily for one year. This group logged their weights in an online journal and viewed a graph that plotted their weight change over time.
The second group served as a control and did not weigh themselves consistently or track their weight change during the study. Both groups were given the goal to lose 10 percent of their starting body weight using any diet or exercise plan of their choice.
After one year, participants in the daily weight group recorded around five weigh-ins per week, showing they weighed themselves consistently even if they didn’t manage to weigh in every day. The daily weight group lost more than five pounds on average, while participants in the second group lost only one pound. Stepping on the scale provided a big weight loss advantage for the first group.
Weighing for Long-Term Weight Maintenance
Three years later, the researchers contacted the study participants again to check on how well they had maintained their weight loss results. Most of the respondents were continuing to weigh themselves at least once a week after the study concluded, and many of them found regular weighing helpful for maintaining their weight loss results.
While a few participants regained some weight and others continued to lose weight, most participants had successfully maintained their weight loss results for three years after the end of the original study.
Put Yourself in Charge
Scientists suggest that weighing yourself plays a role in preventing weight regain because it supports your autonomy – in other words, the power to make your own choices based on what’s best for you.
By weighing yourself on a regular basis after weight loss, you may become more aware of your weight trends and fluctuations and can make the best choices for how to maintain your weight loss.
But, there isn’t just one method that is perfect for every single person.
Remember, you have the power to decide how often to step on the scale or even if you weigh yourself at all. Frequent weighing is just one tool that may help you successfully maintain your weight loss results.
Wilkinson L, Pacanowski CR, Levitsky D. Three-Year Follow-Up of Participants from a Self-Weighing Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Obesity. 2017;2017:4956326. doi:10.1155/2017/4956326.