Sunday, October 16, 2005

Study: Weigh Everyday To Keep Obesity Away

Dr. Rena Wing finds daily weigh-ins hold you accountable after weight loss

A new study conducted by the Brown University Medical School found that people who lose more than 10 percent of their body weight are more likely to keep their weight within 5 pounds if they weigh themselves daily.

The study was led by Dr. Rena Wing from the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown Medical School who is also one of the co-founders of the National Weight Control Registry I previously blogged about.

Dr. Wing and her researchers found in their study that 61 percent of successful weight loss participants who weighed themselves daily had kept their weight off within 5 pounds after 18 months while just 32 percent of those who weighed themselves less often were able to do the same.

Statistically, the researchers reveal, most people who lose weight gain back at least one-third of their weight within one year and two-thirds of their weight within two years. But intervening in this process by allowing the scale to act as an electronic accountability partner can help prevent this inevitable trend, the researchers maintain.

Weight maintenance is described by one of the researchers as "the Achilles heel of obesity treatment” and it is something that millions of dieters are longing to find. Other factors in weight maintenance, according to the researchers, include the kind of food you put in your mouth and exercise.

Making a habit out of weighing oneself can greatly improve a person's chances of keeping the weight off permanently, the research finds.

I have to tell you that I am a scale freak! I LOVE my scale and not only get on it every single day, but sometimes several times throughout the day just to see what I weigh. I used to let that scale bother me before I started livin' la vida low-carb, but I find it to be a very motivating piece of equipment in my weight loss and now weight maintenance.

When I get up in the morning -- on the scale. Go to the bathroom -- on the scale. Take a shower or shave -- on the scale. Even after a BIG meal -- on the scale. I don't need a good reason, I just hop on that scale because I like it. In fact, I'll go do it right now...

I weigh 226 pounds. You see, that's what I love about having a scale to step on whenever I want. In an instant, you'll see where your weight stands and you can't come up with any excuses for why you suddenly weigh over 300 or 400 pounds as I once did. If you weigh yourself every single day, then YOU WILL KNOW IT!

In my book, I tell people to put the scale away for a few weeks if it starts discouraging you during weight loss. But for me, I let that scale motivate me. If I lost weight, then WOO HOO I'm rip-roaring-ready to take on the world. However, if I didn't lose any weight or (GASP!) gained weight, I was pushed to workout just a little longer that day to get the scale to go back down. I can tell you what I weigh at any given moment because I am always on the scale.

Don't be afraid of that scale either. It is just an instrument and nothing else. Your life is not going to end if that scale isn't where you want it to be. You just have to relax and know that you body is going through incredible changes when you are losing weight and that there will be times when it just won't budge. I detail my experience with this in my book and it is important to push forward when that happens.

Now that I have kept my weight off (an even lost a little bit this year) for the past 10 months, I credit my daily weigh-ins as part of my success. Always knowing what I weigh keeps me from the shock that so many people have when they realize they put on 25 pounds "overnight." Yeah, riiiiiigggght! That will NEVER happen to me again as long as I live because I will weigh myself every single day for the rest of my life. It's gonna keep me accountable and help me stay the slim man I have become because of the low-carb lifestyle.

You can send an e-mail to Dr. Rena Wing about her study at


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