How often should you step on the scale? New study has the answer

/ Source: TODAY

To shed some weight and keep it off, people should be doing something that causes many to shudder with dread — step on a scale every day.

A recent study finds that people who weigh themselves daily lose more weight and keep it off longer.

In a two-year study, researchers from Cornell University looked at people who lost weight and their ability to keep it off. People who lost weight their first year and weighed themselves daily and kept track of their weight on a spreadsheet were better able to keep it off the second year.

This could be an important finding when it comes to understanding long-term weight loss — a year after initial weight loss, most people regain about 40 percent of what they lost and after five years they regain 100 percent.


“[The] scale is your reality check, your ultimate reality check,” says Joy Bauer, TODAY's nutritionist, adding that seeing the numbers dip encourages people to continue to work and also reveals weight gain before it becomes too problematic. Some people like striving for a goal and making sure they stick to the number helps keep them on track.

“It shows you where you are. It fuels and encourages you to continue with your program,” says Bauer.

Keeping track of a daily weight might cause stress for some people. If the numbers on the scale feel odious, use a tape measure or a pair of tight jeans as a way to detect changes in body composition and use that to remain accountable to weight loss goals.