How important is a weigh-in for weight loss?

diet, exercise, losing weight, Olumia Life, scale, weight-tracking

weight loss

 

If you’re looking to lose weight, tracking your progress seems like a very logical way to stick to your plan. In fact, a recent study has found that those participants who didn’t weigh themselves were more likely to gain weight rather than lose it. Before you start living by the scale, though, it’s important to understand how your body’s weight can fluctuate from day to day and the possible negative impact the scale can create.

The benefits of weight-tracking

Part of what makes Olumia Life work so well is through analyzing the data you create in fitness, nutrition and sleep over time. Keeping track of how much you weigh can be an important part of that. Seeing where you start and how much improvement you’ve made can be a positive influence and a way of keeping yourself interested in maintaining healthy habits.

A study published in the medical journal PLOS ONE followed 40 individuals as they took part in a health-promoting program. By comparing how often participants weighed themselves with their subsequent weight loss or weight gain, researchers found that weighing yourself more often led to weight loss. Unfortunately, taking a break from weighing yourself actually led to weight gain.

The caveats

Before proclaiming that weighing yourself is the new weight-loss miracle, it’s important to bear in mind that the study itself doesn’t say anything about why the subjects weighing themselves more often lost weight. It just notes a certain level of correlation. The most likely reason for why keeping track of your weight is beneficial is a more general one: Since tracking your weight requires paying attention to your habits and progress (or regress), it’s indicative of a higher level of overall engagement.

The problems with a scale

Keeping track of your weight over time allows you to see your improvement, but it’s best left as an every third day, or at most, weekly occurrence. The weight in our bodies fluctuates from day to day. It’s true! In fact, the same team involved in the study cited above, the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, were involved in a previous study that found we go through “weight cycles.”

Basically, we tend to naturally gain weight over the weekends and lose weight during the week. Participants in the study were found to tend to be their heaviest on Sundays and lightest on Fridays.

This doesn’t mean that it will be exactly the same for you. It does mean, though, that weighing yourself every day may give you an inaccurate, potentially negative perspective.

So…should you be weighing yourself or not?

Yes! We recommend weighing yourself anywhere from once every 3 days to once per week. Keeping track of your weight is generally a positive. Like most things in life, you just need to temper it with a healthy level of moderation.

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