Scientists find simple method to avoid gaining weight over holidays

Brittany A. Roston - May 23, 2019, 7:24 pm CDT
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Scientists find simple method to avoid gaining weight over holidays

Researchers have published a study just ahead of Memorial Day that reveals a simple, safe way to avoid packing on pounds over the holiday. More than 100 adults participated in the research, which involved providing a behavioral, rather than dietary, modification for daily life. Those who followed the instructions maintained or lost weight despite the holidays, while the remainder gained weight.

The research comes out of The Obese Society, a scientific society dedicated to studying obesity-related topics, including treatments. In its most recently published study, researchers focused on a simple way adults can potentially modify their behaviors in order to avoid putting on weight over holiday vacations: daily weight monitoring.

The study involved a total of 111 adults who were ages 18 through 65. Over the time period spanning from mid-November 2017 through early January 2018, participants were instructed to weigh themselves every day and view the daily weight changes via graphics-based feedback.

A second group was merely advised to try to maintain their body weight through the holidays; these individuals were not tasked with daily weigh-ins, however. The first group — the one that weighed themselves daily — was found to have either maintained their body weight over the holidays or to have lost weight. The second group, however, gained weight over the same holidays.

It seems the act of seeing their daily weight compelled individuals in the first group to modify their behaviors — eating less and/or moving more — in a way that positively impacted their weight management. Questions remain over whether the graphical feedback aspect of the daily weigh-in activity is important to the beneficial outcome.

Regardless, the same method could be used by anyone with access to a bathroom scale. Many digital scales now come equipped with Bluetooth connectivity and a companion app that charts daily weight changes as a graph for rapidly seeing weight fluctuations.


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