Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why should you weigh yourself daily?” Good question. (OK, it’s a little chick-oriented but again it beats answering some of those questions about some of your particular, personal peccadilloes. Seriously? We thought “Hot Lunch” was just something kids can get at school, mmmkay?)
This question comes from someone who is dieting. It also applies to anyone who does not want to gain weight. Either way our guest speaker Zahra Barnes for Life by DailyBurn confirms that “stepping on the scale can be more daunting than hauling yourself out of bed to make a 6 a.m. spin class. But if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s probably worth it.”
This was also confirmed by David Levitsky, PhD, a professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell University. He says: “A scale should be as important as your toothbrush.”
Levitsky and his fellow researchers conducted a study that proved the importance of using the scale on a regular basis. He stated: “It’s pretty easy to lower your weight by one percent, but in the weight reduction business, the problem is sustaining it. Tracking it on the scale can help.”
Barnes, who reported on the study, reports that “daily weigh-ins were pretty darn effective. After one year, 29 percent of people in the intervention group maintained at least a five percent total weight loss compared to just 10 percent of the control group. After two years, participants tracking their weight were also better able to maintain that weight loss, compared to those who did not.”
Scott Kahan, MD, director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness also agrees adding: “When it comes to behavior change of any kind, self-monitoring is one of the most valuable tools.”
Levitsky listed additional reasons why you should weigh yourself daily. First, you won’t have any nasty surprises. “If you’re gaining weight, you’ll see it and do something.”
There are also more psychological reasons why you should weigh yourself daily. Levitsky notes: “It acts as a form of positive or negative reinforcement. If you see you gained weight, you’ll reflect on what you may need to change, and if you lost weight, it reinforces that whatever you’re doing is working.”
Finally, Levitsky feels that if you weigh yourself daily you won’t ever mindlessly eat. You’ll be a bit more focused and less likely just to eat food because you see it.
He concludes: “A recent study demonstrated that if you first step on a scale, then watch food commercials, it no longer (results in) eating. Weighing yourself daily may give you the strength to resist when you’re constantly surrounded by food cues.” Indeed, experts agree that for numerous reasons, no other method of monitoring weight loss is 100 percent equivalent to weighing yourself.
Why should you weigh yourself daily? Now you know.
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