People who weigh themselves regularly lose weight without making other changes to diet or lifestyle, research finds.
Self-weighing is also effective for maintaining weight loss, studies have found.
Those trying to lose weight can even double their weight loss by simply noting down the details of their diet and exercise regime, some studies have found.
The latest study was carried out on 296 college-age women who were tracked over two years.
None of the women were enrolled in any kind of weight loss program.
The results showed that women who had at least one period of daily self-weighing experienced weight loss.
Dr Diane Rosenbaum, the study’s first author, said:
“The losses in BMI and body fat percentage were modest, but still significant, especially keeping in mind that these women were not part of a weight loss program.
We did not expect that, in the absence of a weight loss intervention, folks would be losing weight.”
This study does not necessarily show that self-weighing causes weight loss, the study’s authors write:
“It is possible that the relation between self-weighing and weight might be driven by scale avoidance among those who experienced weight gain.”
However, other studies have repeatedly linked self-weighing to weight loss.
One study has found that weighing oneself daily is linked to losing 10 percent of body weight over the year (Pacanowski & Levitsky, 2015).
Dr Meghan Butryn, study co-author, said:
“Regularly weighing yourself can motivate you to engage in healthy eating and exercise behaviors, because it provides you with evidence that these behaviors are effective in helping you lose weight or prevent weight gain.
Similarly, if you see weight gain on the scale, that information can motivate you to make a change.”
The study was published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine (Rosenbaum et al., 2017).