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Journal of Obesity Study Reveals the Trick to Losing Weight and Keeping it Off

Tim Boyer's picture
Obesity Study

Did you know that most dieters regain 40 percent of their lost weight in the first year after weight loss; and, eventually wind up regaining everything they lost within five years? A new study published in the Journal of Obesity reveals to dieters the trick to losing the weight and how to keep from regaining it.


According to the authors in a new study published in the Journal of Obesity, using Caloric Titration Method (CTM) resulted in significant weight loss differences between experimental and control groups during a 2-year study.

According to a news release from Cornell University, the Caloric Titration Method is really nothing more complex than stepping on a scale and checking off a data point on a chart that hangs on a bathroom wall over the scale.

“You just need a bathroom scale and an excel spreadsheet or even a piece of graph paper,” said David Levitsky, professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell and the paper’s senior author. Dr. Levitsky tells readers that the method “…forces you to be aware of the connection between your eating and your weight. It used to be taught that you shouldn’t weigh yourself daily, and this is just the reverse.”

According to the published article, 162 overweight individuals were randomly placed into either a CTM intervention experimental group or a delayed treatment control group. Both groups received training on how to track their weight on a daily basis, but only the experimental group was given specific instruction to do so throughout the study.

After the first year, the two groups were compared for weight loss and the data showed that the CTM experimental group lost an average of 13 pounds whereas the control group participants lost an average of nearly 10 pounds each.

During the 2nd year of the study, the CTM experimental group continued to use CTM, but only as a weight loss maintenance measure. The control group, however, was instructed to now use CTM every day for a year as a weight loss measure.

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What the researchers found was that CTM used toward maintaining weight loss without any regain worked successfully with the CTM experimental group. In addition, the control group now on daily CTM had achieved weight loss results similar to those achieved by the experimental group during the first year of the study.

One other finding the data revealed is that men tend to do better than women on the CTM for weight loss.

The researchers believe that the conscious act of stepping on a scale and tracking one’s weight acts as a reinforcement for some behaviors, such as eating less and engaging in added physical activities such as going for a walk to help maintain body weight.

“We think the scale also acts as a priming mechanism, making you conscious of food and enabling you to make choices that are consistent with your weight,” states Dr. Levitsky.

The researchers concluded that self-weighing and visual feedback may be a useful strategy to help dieters achieve significant weight loss, contrary to past weight loss advice that recommended against checking your weight daily on a scale.


Frequent Self-Weighing and Visual Feedback for Weight Loss in Overweight AdultsJournal of Obesity Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 763680; Carly R. Pacanowski and David A. Levitsky.

University of Cornell― “Keeping track of weight daily may tip scale in your favor