Weighty Matters—When You Weigh Yourself Matters
If you’re like most American women, you’ve tried to diet once or twice. (Or, let’s face it, more like one or two hundred times.) Surveys reveal that most women worry about their weight, and most have attempted to lose weight by following one diet or another…or another…or another.
I say women should strive to be real, not ideal. Being real means you eat healthfully and exercise regularly because you know it will help you look and feel better. You do it because you know the closer you get to your “ideal” weight, the lower your risks of getting various serious diseases will become. Forget ideal. Keep it real. Focus on good nutrition and staying off your keister as much as possible. But if you do plan to diet for weight loss, here is some intriguing new research that could help.
One way to stay on track, say experts, is to weigh yourself regularly. Some do it daily. Others not at all. But new research suggests that the more often you weigh yourself, the more likely you are to continue losing weight. At the very least, say researchers from Finland, weigh yourself once a week, preferably on the same day, at the same time of day. It may be even better to weigh yourself daily. If you go longer than a week, chances are you will actually gain weight.
Although their study did not prove that weighing oneself more frequently leads to more weight loss, the Finnish researchers did observe an association between those two events. And by the way, the study also revealed that most people weigh the least on Wednesday; the most on Sunday evening. So there’s that. If you need a confidence boost, you may want to wait until Wednesday to weigh yourself. Just don’t wait longer than a week, or your losses may evaporate.
Brian Wansink, PhD, is director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, and a co-author of the study. He had this to say about the findings: “The bottom line is: If you want to lose weight, it’s best to weigh yourself every day. But if you weigh yourself only once a week, do it on Wednesday because that will give you the most accurate reading.”
Elina E. Helander, Anna-Leena Vuorinen, Brian Wansink, Ilkka K. J. Korhonen. Are Breaks in Daily Self-Weighing Associated with Weight Gain? PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (11): e113164 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113164