Self-Weighing and the Scale: What’s the Weight-Loss Research Show
Posted Apr 19 2013 5:00am
The scale, oh the scale. What adventures await? Will I or
won’t I be what I think I am? Should I or shouldn’t I today; or should I wait until the
end of the week?
The scale stands as the one of the most fearsome weight-loss
activities. You can’t wait to get on and see how you are doing; yet you don’t
want to get on to see how you are doing. There’s avoidance of the scale and
there’s compulsive use of the scale (multiple times a day). There’s great
ambivalence and indecision and conflict, lots of conflict.
What is best to do about the scale? Should you avoid it
entirely, taking the position that knowing how much you weigh and how much
weight you lost doesn’t make any difference to the weight-loss process? Should
you weigh yourself every day, taking the position that knowing your weight and
how much you’ve lost does indeed affect the process of weight loss. Should you
take a middle position? Weigh yourself on occasion, like once a week, or every
two weeks, or once a month, because this is what will help you lose your
unwanted weight the most.
Here are some of the research findings.
Study 1 . Daily weighing helped keep weight off once weight
was lost. It promoted dietary restraint, overall restraint, decreased depressed
mood, and decreased bingeing.
Study 2 . Greater frequency of weighing was associated with
greater twenty-four month weight loss and less weight gain.
Study 3 . After 6 months of weekly weigh-ins, there was an
average weight loss of 5 percent or more of pre-weight-loss weight.
Study 4 . Daily weighing led to increased weight gain for
people who work especially hard at controlling their weight day in and day out.
There are many more research studies on the value of
frequent versus less frequent use of the scale. The preponderance of results
point to more frequent weighing as being a good technique for fostering both
weight loss and maintenance of lost weight.