While weighing yourself on a scale doesn’t in itself make you lose weight, a recent study suggests that weighing yourself frequently just might. The study found that people who weighed themselves daily were more likely to lose weight than those who didn’t.
The researchers analysed data taken from 500 adults with an average age of 45. Over the nine month course of the study, the participants were supplied with digitally connected scales and asked to weigh themselves as they normally would. The Wi-Fi scales enabled their weight to be remotely monitored on a daily basis.
At the end of the study, the subjects who didn’t weight themselves at all, or did so infrequently, hadn’t lost any weight. However, the ones who weighed themselves every day saw their their weight decrease by 2.1 percent. To explain this, it is thought that by closely monitoring their weight, people are more aware of how lifestyle choices, such as how much they exercise, how much they eat, etc, affects their weight.
In years gone by (and it wasn’t that long ago), food shortages were all too common. Even when it was available, very often it was of a low quality. However, because human beings were designed so they could adapt to lack of food and so were able to cope with it, they survived. Now fast forward to today where, in large parts of the world, particularly the western world, food is literally everywhere. The pressure on us to eat, eat, eat is relentless and, being what we are, is very difficult to ignore. This makes it essential for us to be aware of the consequences of the dietary choices we make. One very good way of doing this is to weigh ourselves daily – it focuses the mind and keeps us on top of the issue.
However, it has to be said that this constant monitoring of weight isn’t advisable for everyone. People who battle with their weight, and those who are over-conscious of their body image to the degree that it negatively affects their lives, should give daily weighing a definite miss. While most people can see the number on the scale rationally – just a piece of data; with some it can trigger an emotional response that can be the cause of depression, anxiety and other issues that include irrational behaviour. Two classic examples of the latter are binge eating and under-eating. People with these types of issues are well advised to weigh themselves no more than once a week.
Daily weighing is really only helpful to people who able to use the information they gain from it. By doing so, they are able to see clearly, and immediately, how the way they live their lives affects their weight. For example, alcohol intake, eating out, eating at night, exercise, sleep, etc, etc.
The Bottom Line
People need to be in a good mental place, free of phobias, neurosis and anxiety, before they make weighing themselves a daily habit. But if they are, it can be a very useful tool indeed, not just for losing weight but also improving their lifestyle in general.