It’s easy to get carried away when on a diet, watching each mouthful and charting every half a pound lost in a bid to be lean. It’s enough to send you loopy and reaching for the biscuit tin, so you’d think stepping on the scales every day would be a bad idea. Not so, according to a two-year study recently documented in the Journal of Obesity, which shows that it really is possible to weigh the fat away.
The study split 162 subjects into two groups, and found that those tracking and recording their weight every day not only lost more, but were also keeping it off in the long term. This group were given a target of one percent body fat loss per week, and it was a huge success, which researchers believe is down to the dieters making a connection between what they ate and the figure on the scales. Charting weight loss or gain every day meant they thought more carefully about their diet and exercise regime, forcing them to make positive choices. So could this be the way forward?
Whilst I don’t step on the scales every day, I do weigh myself at least twice a week. I think of fat as a ninja warrior that creeps up on you when you least expect it and learned this to my cost after a threeweek episode when I fell off the weighing wagon and discovered the pounds had piled on. ‘Be alert at all times’ is my diet mantra, but is it really a good idea to monitor our weight so closely, even going to the extent of filling out daily spreadsheets? According to the survey, yes! As a nation we often fail to realise the calorific content of our food, but if we’re on the scales every day we can see the difference that mid-week treat makes.
That said, we should bear in mind that body weight fluctuates naturally depending on a number of factors, so a few pounds either way shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. It’s also worth remembering that muscle weighs more than fat. So while you might not appear to be losing on the scales, you could still be shedding inches and getting fit, and that’s definitely worth celebrating!