You’re grilling your chicken breasts rather than frying them, pairing your protein with a veggie-stuffed salad, and even hitting the gym before work. But if you’re not jumping for joy at the results, it may be time to jump onto something else: your scale. A new study published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine discovered that weighing in daily can help the number on the scale drop faster.
Researchers at Penn and Drexel University studied 294 18-19-year-old female university students in Philadelphia (who weren’t following a weight-loss plan) for two years. Those that consistently weighed themselves lowered their BMI by about 0.5 units, while the women who didn’t step on the scale daily had an unchanged BMI. While all of the participants’ body fat slightly increased within the first six months (hello, freshman 15!), those who weighed themselves each day subsequently saw their weight drop by two percent.
“Daily self-weighing only adds a few extra minutes to someone’s morning routine, but it has the potential to help individuals stay on track with health goals, which is another reason it could offer a lot of utility for folks looking to watch their weight,” study author Diane Rosenbaum, PhD, a psychologist at Penn’s Aaron T. Beck Psychopathology Research Center explained. “It gives you more opportunities to see the impact of your behaviors on your weight, and helps you to identify when you may need to make adjustments sooner rather than later.”
Though further research is needed to determine whether regular self-weighing results in less body fat, keep in mind that your scale doesn’t differentiate between fat and muscle mass. So if you’re making gains at the gym, seeing the number on the scale rise isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But if you’re not lifting weights yet still gaining weight, you may want to invest in these 21 Tools To Help You Get Serious About Losing Weight—one of them being a quality scale.
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