Keeping a track of one’s weight by stepping on scale everyday can help a person, especially men, to lose weight and keep from gaining it again.
Subjects who lost weight the first year in the program were able to maintain that lost weight throughout the second year. This is important because studies show that about 40 percent of weight lost with any dietary treatment is regained in one year, and almost 100 percent of weight loss is regained at the end of five years.
Professor David Levitsky at Cornell University said that a person just required a bathroom scale and an excel spreadsheet or even a piece of graph paper.
During the study, the subjects were randomly separated into an intervention group and a control group. Individuals in the intervention group were first given a target of one per cent weight loss, which they could lose in any manner they chose.
Levitsky said that because they didn’t prescribe, everyone found their own way of losing the weight, whether they reduced portion size, stopped snacking or skipped a meal.
He added that after the study they found that it worked better for men than for women.
Overall, the researchers believe that stepping on a scale and tracking one’s weight acts as reinforcement for some behaviors, such as eating less and it strengthens others such as going for a walk in order to maintain body weight.
The research is published in the Journal of Obesity.