14 January 11 Weighing In on Weighing In RegularlyLast week, we put up a survey asking how often people weighed in, and we got a lot of responses. The clear winner, landing over 58% of the total votes, was that people like to weigh in every day. The second spot went to those who like to weigh in once a week (27%), and third place was reserved for those who weighed in whenever they felt like it (11%).
Perhaps not surprising was that the overwhelming majority of those who responded to the survey also choose to weigh themselves right after waking up, before breakfast. Nearly 95%, no matter how frequently they weighed themselves, weighed in the morning.
So do the people who like to weigh in every day do this because they were told to at some point in their lives, or just because it seems like a good idea? There are many studies out there that can point out the pros and cons to regular weigh-ins, but one study, published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine in 2005, may have had the final word in the matter.
Over the course of 24 months, researchers conducted a study that looked at those who weighed themselves regularly and those who didn't, and the results indicated, clearly, that those who weighed regularly lost more weight during the two years than those who didn't. And those who weighed themselves every day lost the most weight of all.
So kudos to those who make it part of their daily routine; it seems this study is for you! However, the flip side to this study, according to its critics, is the chicken-and-egg argument. Do people who are successful in losing weight like to validate their success by seeing a change on the scale nearly everyday, while those who are less successful begin avoiding the scale? It's a question to consider, but ultimately does it really matter? If looking forward to your morning weigh-in helps you stick with your food tracking and exercise goals, why stop?
The scale can be like the stock market, full of ups and downs. And as long as you don't let the "downs" cause you to sell your stock and re-invest in doughnuts, the power of regular weigh-ins can be tied to the psychology of keeping a routine. Many psychologists who commented on the 2005 study agreed that whatever you do with weighing in, be consistent. Do it the same time every day, or every week, or in the same clothes. Also important is to think about how weighing in makes you feel - if it empowers you, keep it up, but if you can't fight off feelings of failure because the numbers weren't what you expected, perhaps you can come up with a different measure for success until you can come back to the scale with enthusiasm. Be creative and have fun with your journey! It's yours and unlike anyone else's. Have questions or comments about this post? Please feel free to comment on MyNetDiary's Community Forum or Facebook page – We would love to hear from you. And consider visiting our new Pinterest page!
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