Photo (cc) by Alan Cleaver
New research is giving doctors a reason to question what they’ve been telling their patients about stepping on the scale.
The two-year study by researchers at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, found that frequently weighing yourself and tracking the results on a chart were effective for both losing weight and keeping it off. That was especially true for men.
The fact that study participants were able to maintain their weight loss from the first year through the second is significant because studies show that about 40 percent of weight loss associated with any dietary treatment is gained back in one year, according to a press release from Cornell.
The study’s senior author, Cornell nutrition and psychology professor David Levitsky, explains that this weight-loss method — which requires only a bathroom scale and spreadsheet — forces people to become more aware of the connection between what they eat and how much they weigh:
“It used to be taught that you shouldn’t weigh yourself daily, and this is just the reverse.”
The study — titled “Frequent Self-Weighing and Visual Feedback for Weight Loss in Overweight Adults” — was recently published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Obesity.
While the method of frequent self-weighing and tracking the results on a chart worked for both genders, there was “a significant difference” in how much weight they lost. Levitsky states:
“It seems to work better for men than women, for reasons we cannot figure out yet.”
What weight-loss method has worked best for you? Would you try this one? Share your thoughts in a comment below or on Facebook.