Want to lose weight? This may be the answer

Want to lose weight? This may be the answer

Stepping on the scale daily and tracking your progress may be the best way for dieters to successfully lose weight and keep it off, according to one study.

Researchers from Cornell University found that study participants who weighed themselves daily and charted their results lost significantly more weight than those who did not. They were also able to keep the weight off.

Obesity is a chronic, lifelong condition and must be addressed as such through lifelong changes,” says Dr. Shane Fogo, an Advocate Medical Group family medicine physician at Advocate Eureka Hospital in Eureka, Ill. “Keeping track of your weight daily not only helps to confirm if your weight loss plan is working, but helps you monitor potential weight gain once you have reached your weight loss goal.”

Daily self-weighing and tracking “forces you to be aware of the connection between your eating and your weight,” lead study author David Levitsky said in a news release. “It used to be taught that you shouldn’t weigh yourself daily, and this is just the reverse.”

The researchers found that self-weighing and tracking are simple ways to reinforce and strengthen positive behaviors such as eating less and maintaining regular exercise.

“You just need a bathroom scale and an Excel spreadsheet, or even a piece of graph paper,” said Levitsky.

Dr. Fogo offers some other tips for successful weight loss:

  • Don’t skip meals altogether. Going a long time between meals may slow your metabolic rate and make it harder for you to lose weight.
  • Get a good, restful night of sleep. The stress from chronic fatigue will make it difficult to commit to long-term dietary changes and exercise routines.
  • Exercise. Meaningful calorie burn through exercise takes time. It takes consistent effort and dedication to regular exercise to get into shape to a point where longer, more intense activities will yield higher calorie burn.
  • Avoid high-calorie beverages. People often don’t realize how many calories they are drinking daily through energy drinks, soda, sports drinks or coffee drinks such as mochas, lattes and cappuccinos. These can easily contain anywhere from 150 to 500 calories or more per drink.

“Obesity has become probably the most significant preventable health risk factor today,” says Dr. Fogo. “Studies have shown that the effects of obesity may now cause more health problems than smoking.”

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Comments

5 Comments

  1. Weighing daily is counterproductive and leaves you a slave to your scale, especially if you’ve reached a plateau and don’t understand why. Article would be more meaningful if better tools for addressing weight loss were added such as goal setting, working with a nutritionist, and getting your emotional triggers addressed. Butcthats just my opinion.

  2. “If taken too seriously, minimal daily weight gain might lead to compulsive weighing-in and drastic, unhealthy eating behaviors, such as skipping several meals to get immediate results on the scale.” (https://www.health.harvard.edu/should-you-weigh-yourself-every-day)

    The above quote is taken from Harvard’s website and published under the guidance of Harvard Medical School. The suggestion in this article vs. Advocate’s is that the healthy weigh in is a part of a well rounded understanding of physiological changes as well as the psychological implications of becoming more nutrient focused (rather than calories or lbs).

    It is a given that there are several articles on both sides of this issue and that it is a hot topic. I lean towards Harvard’s view on this one.

  3. I resisted daily weighing for most of my life, afraid the fluctuations would discourage me over the long haul. I found myself morbidly obese and joined a weight loss program called RetroFit and one of the things they recommend is daily weighing. I agreed to do everything the asked, at least for awhile but knew I could change it if I felt I needed to. I am happy to say that in less than a year I have lost over 100lbs, am now able to exercise regularly and weigh myself first thing every morning. This habit has allowed me to get to know and accept my body and the way it handles the foods I eat and the activity I participate in. It has taught me to start my day out with my health and goals as my priority for the day, and it also has taught me to think of my changes as life goals, lifestyle modifications, and something I plan to do for the rest of my life. My health was dangerously at risk, I couldn’t breath and could barely function as a result of my bad habits and I believe with all my heart that this new positive habit, along with the other changes I have made have been key to my success.

  4. If obesity is recognized by the medical community as a lifelong, chronic disease/condition, then why do most insurance company drug plans not cover the required medicine’s to help overcome this very harmful disease/condition? Offering covered visits with nutritionists, at the least would help a bit. Insurance companies and Medicare cover smoking cessation medicine’s and even E.D meds. This is both nonsensical and irresponsible of them.

  5. I agree with other posters that daily weighing is essential. I am less supportive of the author’s belief that “skipping meals” is a bad idea. There is anecdotal evidence–which is very persuasive when coming from severely obese and sick people–that intermittent fasting, in which one restricts eating to a given ‘window’ of time and then refrains from eating the other hours is very effective. There are different patterns recommended, like a window of six hours versus eight hours, and googling IF, intermittent fasting, will open a world of information. It does stand to reason that in the first days of our species one could not grab something out of the frig, but had to gather or catch food, and fast in the meanwhile. It may be how we function best. It does bear investigating and experimenting if one needs to lose weight.

    PS Why does the site always say there’s an equation to solve, when there is none?

About the Author

Eric Alvin
Eric Alvin

Eric Alvin, health enews contributor, is manager of public affairs and marketing at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Ill. He has more than 20 years of experience in both internal and external health care communications, media relations, and creating online and print marketing content. He has a great love of classic cinema and is a big fan of Turner Classic Movies.