Weight Loss: One-Minute Activity You Should Do Every Day

Two-year study helped people lose 10% of their body weight — and keep it off.

Stepping on the scales each day and tracking the results on a chart aids weight control and weight loss, a new study finds.

The conclusions come from a two-year Cornell study published in the Journal of Obesity (Pacanowski & Levitsky, 2015).

David Levitsky, professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell and the study’s senior author, said:

“You just need a bathroom scale and an excel spreadsheet or even a piece of graph paper.

[It] 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.”

For the two-year research, people aimed to lose weight in the first year and maintain the weight loss during the second year.

Maintenance is important because studies show that about 40% of weight lost with any dietary treatment is regained in one year,

After five years, almost 100% of weight loss is often regained.

In the first phase of program, participants had to focus on 1% weight loss.

They did this in their own way by stopping snacking, reducing portion size, and skipping meals.

When the weight loss remained the same for 10 days, people were asked to try and lose another 1%.

This procedure continued until a 10% weight loss of their starting body weight was achieved.

The study found that frequent self-weighing was linked to weight loss and prevention of weight gain.

The study also found that men were losing more weight than women on this program.

Professor Levitsky said:

“It seems to work better for men than women, for reasons we cannot figure out yet.”

The reason weighing yourself seems to work is that it improves weight loss behaviours, such as going for a walk or eating less.

Professor Levitsky said:

“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.”

Diet image from Shutterstock