According to recent study findings, stepping on a scale everyday to track small changes in body weight may make it easier to keep extra weight off in the long term.
The study, lead by researchers at Brown University Medical School in Providence, R.I., tracked nearly 300 people who had lost at least 10 percent of their body weight in the past two years. Participants were put into 3 groups. One group received nutrition counselling via the Internet, the other received counseling in person, while the third received counselling through a monthly newsletter.
All participants submitted weekly weight reports and were received counselling if they gained five or more pounds. After eighteen months, researchers followed up with participants and found that 46 percent of the face-to-face group had gained five pounds or more, compared with 55 percent of the Internet group. 72 percent of the participants in the newsletter group had gained five pounds or more.
At the start of the study, about 40 percent of participants in each group were weighing themselves daily. Eighteen months later, that had fallen to 30 percent in the newsletter group, but had increased to 65 percent of the Internet group and 72 percent of the face-to-face group.
Among participants who weighed themselves daily, only 39 percent regained 5 pounds or more, compared with 68 percent for those who weighed themselves less frequently. Overall, the study suggests that weighing yourself daily can help with long-term weight maintenance by catching small gains as soon as they happen.
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