Health & Wellness Articles

Prevent Weight Gain with Daily Weigh-Ins

Fitness News Flash

Sometimes the hardest part of weight loss is keeping it off. It can be daunting to know that within two years, most dieters regain two-thirds of what they lost! But researchers at Brown University Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island studied 291 people (mostly women) who had lost at least 10% of their body weight (an average of 44 pounds) in the previous two years. Participants were given scales (and encouraged to use them daily), as well as different levels of support (either a monthly email, an internet chat group, or face-to-face meetings).

At the onset of the study, 40% of the dieters were weighing themselves daily. After 18 months, 65% of those who chatted online and 72% of those who received face-to-face support weighed themselves daily, while those without support weighed themselves less. On top of that, 68% of dieters who did NOT weight-in daily gained five pounds or more over the course of the 18-month study.

Action Sparked
This study shows the importance both social support (either online or in person), and keeping track of your progress—even after you have already met your goal. You can get (and give!) plenty of support on the SparkPeople Message Boards, from your exercise buddies, trainer, family, and friends too.

When you weigh yourself regularly, you’re more likely to catch weight gain early on—and do something about it. Give yourself about a 5-pound range to stay within, and continue to watch your calories and get plenty of exercise after you meet your goal. While daily weigh-ins aren't necessarily for everyone, you can still keep yourself in check with consistent, weekly weigh-ins, body fat tests, or other measurements (such as waist, hips, etc.).

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Member Comments

  • I just left the following comment on another article "Break Free From the Scale!" on SP....
    and am repeating it here.
    I'm a weigh-everyday person (for the past year) with good results. Just recently weight was creeping up a few pounds, took a few days break away from the scale, totally concentrated on nutrition, and I'm back on track. The lesson for me was that I was getting a little lax on the nutrition side. Now back to weighing every day. -
  • Thanks so much for this article--as my goal weight is getting closer, I'm trying to plan early for maintenance. I especially needed the info on weight range.
  • I regularly weigh in three times/week and track my weight. That seems to work for me and I can watch the trend line.
    I weigh daily and record weight once a week. keeps me honest., aware and accountable.
  • I weigh in weekly, because then there's the very real possibility of seeing a loss on the scale. When I have weighed in daily, I felt de-motivated because things didn't change fast enough. Plus, my house doesn't have central heating, we use a wood stove and so it is always really cold in my bathroom, except for maybe about 9 weeks in the summertime. So it doesn't feel very rewarding to run around naked when things don't even change that often!
  • I prefer to weigh everyday. I know it fluctuates but I get into big trouble when I do not weigh. I gain weight very easy and fast. So in order for me to maintain or loose I have to be on top of it.
  • I wont weigh myself every day because your weight can fluctuate due to hormones and other factors. I will only weigh myself weekly at most
    As has been said before, I thought I odd that two opposing points of view were connected - I thought I was going to need an intervention before reading this article!
    I only weigh myself once a day at the same time every day and I haven't felt hopeless so I don't think I need to stop.
    Thanks for all of your helpful comments!
  • the first sign of my return to the yoyo of weight gain is when i *stop* weighing myself.
  • Maybe it's avoidance of the scale that's the obsession. That's how I gained the weight in the first place. Out of sight, out of mind, but onto my hips.
    For some reason, and it isn't just in this blog, but whenever there is a breakdown of a serving into calories, fat, carbs, etc. sugar is never listed. This is extremely important to those of us following a bariatric diet; I'm sure it would help diabetics also..
  • Very odd - I was leaving a comment intended for an article about Panera's new POWER menu...and the comment attached here. Sorry folks - do try their new Power Menu though!
  • I rarely eat out at restaurants, and generally prefer locally owned places...making nutritional observation harder! But, I recently tried the Panera Power Turkey Mediterranean Salad - and LOVE IT! I've added the info into menu options so others can find it too. NOTE: The Power Menu is not listed at most Panera locations - but if you ask for it, they can easily key it into register and create it no worries at all!
    I've weighed daily for long stretches at a time since 1996. I *always* keep my weight in check better when I do it. For me, it doesn't become an obsession; as a matter of fact, it's the opposite. When I weigh daily and graph it, the number loses any positive or negative significance and just becomes a data point on the graph.

    As others have noted, your weight fluctuates daily. It's interesting to me to see when that happens--I weigh more at the expected times (after a day of salty food, certain times of the month, etc.), but also on hot, humid days. My problem with weekly weigh-ins is that sometimes they fall on a day when my *scale* weight might be up as much as 3 lbs., even though my weight overall is going down. That used to stress me out with Weight Watchers, which was completely opposed to daily weigh-ins (at least, at the time I was doing it; I don't know what their stance is now).

    I realize that it's not everybody's thing; most people I've talked to say it would drive them crazy, except, interestingly, the ones who deal with data a lot. One of my friends who works in IT weighs & graphs daily, and has maintained the same weight for more than 30 years!
  • I did a survey of maintainers. (Successful ones) and almost 9/10 of weighed in daily. Weight does fluctuate. But I know that it does, but if you see if going up instead of up and down then you need to evaluate...

About The Author

Nicole Nichols Nicole Nichols
A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, Nicole loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Nicole was formerly SparkPeople's fitness expert and editor-in-chief, known on the site as "Coach Nicole." Make sure to explore more of her articles and blog posts.

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