Some people dread looking at them, touching them, and certainly standing on them – they are the dreaded SCALES. If you’ve been trying to lose weight on any diet plan, chances are you may have been advised to not step on a scale for fear of jeopardizing your weight loss.
The question is: Does weighing oneself really hurt one’s chances at weight loss or does it actually help? We took at look at the issue a bit closer to try and sort out whether or not jumping on the scale could in fact deter weight gain.
According to many of the top plans, such as Weight Watchers, dieters are advised not to weigh themselves frequently. They recommend weighing oneself once a week or even less than that. The fact of the matter is that most plans are hoping you’ll depend solely on their method and follow it to the letter so that you won’t feel the need to weigh yourself. If you trust something so completely why would you even doubt you’re losing weight, but the truth of the matter is that most people aren’t that firmly regimented in following their plans, do cheat, and often wind up gaining weight.
In recent studies, some studies involving more than 3,000 people at the University of Minnesota, the data clearly indicates that weighing oneself on a frequent basis (daily) actually does help the dieter become aware of his body’s metabolism more, and is more likely to lose weight than those who weigh themselves less frequently. In fact, those who stepped on the scales daily lost 12 lbs more than those who weighed themselves weekly. Those who stepped on the scale weekly lost an average of 6 lbs, and those who didn’t weigh themselves at all gained 4 lbs.
Many of the 4,000 people who make up the National Weight Control Registry, a group of people who’ve lost more than 30 lbs or more, tend to step on the scale regularly to make sure that they are not incrementally gaining weight. If they notice a change in weight that equals 5 lbs or more, they know to change their eating habits immediately to deter any further weight gain and to spur on weight loss.
Although many people despise scales, they can be an important tool in weight loss. By weighing oneself frequently, once in the morning, one in the afternoon, and once in the evening after meals for a week just as an experiment, you will soon see a pattern in how your body processes food, especially after certain types of meals. Weight will of course fluctuate a little bit naturally due to water intake/loss, exercise, foods eaten, and during one’s menstrual cycle.
The best thing about scales is that they can help you detect changes in your weight that if left undetected could add up over time resulting in a large weight gain. If you can approach the scale with the right attitude, and see it as a way to learn more about your body and a way of preventing further weight gain, a tool to help you lose weight, then you may see some positive results that could really make a difference in the long run.