New study examines a novel strategy for stopping holiday weight gain and presents a psychological mechanism that describes why the plan may work.
More than 37% of adults in USA are obese, figures roughly show, and experts believe this percentage will rise. More than 32% of adults in USA are even overweight. Research makes it evident that on standard, people see an increase between 0.4 and 1 kg of weight every year. Though, this might be a small figure, continuous weight increase can result in obesity gradually.
Many are well known with the so-called holiday weight increase. In the course of mid-November and January, adults usually gain 0.4 to 1.5 kg on average. Lately, research published in the journal, Obesity advises that weighing yourself each day can be an enhanced way to avoid weight gain. Jamie Cooper, Ph.D, who is an associate professor in the Department of Foods and Nutrition at the University of Georgia in Athens, conducted the new investigation.
Learning a new weight loss plan
For the study, Cooper and colleagues selected 111 adults aging from 18-65 years. The participants checked their weights at different types ranging from mid-November 2017 and early January 2018.
The researchers enquired the adults to finish three visits; one just before the holiday season, the next immediately after and the third one 14 weeks after the involvement. Cooper and his team also enquired the candidates to use a Likert scale to measure the frequency with which they weighed themselves.
In the course of the intervention, the researchers asked the adults to attempt to keep their starting weight all through the study period, but they didn’t provide any tips or information on how they were able to do it. So every adult had his own choice to choose whichever method they wanted, whether it consisted of exercising or dieting. The researchers contrasted these selected adults with a control group who were not given any guidelines or instructions to follow.
After the study was completed, it was seen that those who checked their weight every day themselves and got a visual representation of the weight changes either resulted in having the same weight they had in the beginning or lost weight.
“They might exercise some more the next day (after they noticed a weight gain), or they are taking care of what they are consuming in their diet. The subjects self-choose how they will alter their behavior that can impact because we know that involvement isn’t one-size-fits-all.”
As on the other side, members who did not check their weight everyday saw an increase in their weight.
Self-awareness is the way to weight loss
Study co-author Michelle vanDellen, who is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Georgia, describes the psychological mechanisms that can be working behind these findings.
“People are really conscious to discrepancies or difference between their now self and their certain goal or level. When they visualize that discrepancy, it however leads to attitude change. Daily checking your weight results in change in a crystal clear way”, explains vanDellan.
The authors are not certain if checking your weight daily without graphics would indicate the same impact.
“Vacations and holidays are maybe the two times in the year people are more open to weight increase in a short time. The holidays can really affect an individuals long-term health” says in the end, the lead author, Cooper.