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  NOVEMBER 6, 2018 by JOE BATTAGLIA
Is Weighing Yourself The Key To Losing Weight?


Yes and no. The answer may not be that simple. Daily weighing may help with weight loss goals as some people who don't weigh themselves have been found less likely to lose weight than those who weigh themselves often. However, this depends on a few variables according to research being presented in Chicago at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions.

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Sure, you can notice if your belt is getting tighter, or looser, but chances are you don't have an accurate assessment of your weight. The body mass index (BMI) dates back to the 19th century and is still used by Physicians as a tool to assess health status. Yet it remains one of the most of the inaccurate tools to measure our health due to its reliance on population studies without assessing individual diagnosis.

Body mass index makes absolutely no distinction between body weight from muscle and body weight from fat which labels a broad segment of the athletic and healthy populations as overweight and obese. Consequently, as a measurement tool, weighing yourself on a scale to assess BMI is ineffective since it fails to take into account our body composition.

Your body's biggest component is water--about 60 percent of your weight. Physically you're like a big water balloon: five quarts of blood and forty quarts of other fluids. In a given day, your weight can fluctuate by several pounds, primarily due to changes in body water. Considering this, you can see that your scale has limitations.

One study found that women who weigh themselves more often are also more likely to be concerned with their own weight, have a more negative body image, lower self-esteem, and higher likelihood of depression, but that was largely a result of participants allowing the scale to negatively define their state of mind.

However, new research also claims the scale can be effective in examining our own patterns relating to our diet, fitness and lifestyle habits which drives and motivates more people to meet their own standards.

Researchers examined the self-weighing patterns of 1,042 adults (78 percent male, 90 percent white, average age 47) and whether there were differences in weight change by these self-weighing patterns over 12 months. They analyzed remotely transmitted self-weighing data from Health eHeart, an ongoing prospective e-cohort study. The participants weighed themselves at home as they normally would, without interventions, guidance or weight-loss incentives from researchers.

Researchers identified several categories of self-weighing adults, from those that weighed themselves daily or almost daily to adults who never used at-home scales.

They found that people who never weighed themselves or only weighed once a week did not lose weight in the following year. Those that weighed themselves six to seven times a week had a significant weight loss (1.7 percent) in 12 months.

Monitoring your behavior or body weight may increase your awareness of how changing behaviors can affect weight loss. These findings support the central role of self-monitoring in changing behavior and increasing success in any attempt to better manage weight, according to study authors from the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing and University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.


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