Daily Weighing Helps People Lose Weight, Prevents Gain

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Weight Loss with Weighing

People who are trying to either lose weight or avoid gaining do better by weighing themselves daily, according to a new study in the December issue of Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

The research team evaluated self-weighing practices of more than 3,000 people participating in either a weight loss or a weight gain prevention program. The study's key finding: "Higher weighing frequency was associated with greater 24-month weight loss or less weight gain."

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When people weigh themselves daily, "something is going on. It's independent of things such as diet and exercise, so it may be worth recommending," said lead researcher Jennifer Linde, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota. "If people see that their number has gone up they may realize it's time to do something. It's probably easier to make that small correction," Linde said, than to try to compensate after gaining a lot of weight.

The first study group consisted of 1,800 obese or overweight adults enrolled in a weight loss program. Participants all had a body mass index (BMI) of at least 27. They were randomly divided into three groups: a telephone-based weight loss intervention, a mail-based weight loss intervention or a usual-care control condition. The researchers weighed them every six months for two years.

"The average 12-month and 24-month weight losses of 1.3 and 2 BMI units respectively

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