Checking your weight every day could help you slim down, researchers report.
A two-year Cornell University study found that tracking the results of daily weight checks on a chart helped people lose weight and keep it off.
"You just need a bathroom scale and an Excel spreadsheet, or even a piece of graph paper," study senior author David Levitsky, a professor of nutrition and psychology, said in a university news release.
People who lost weight with this approach in the first year maintained that weight loss throughout the second year, the researcher said. That result is significant because previous studies have shown that about 40 percent of weight loss is regained within a year, and nearly 100 percent is regained within five years, according to the study.
This approach "forces you to be aware of the connection between your eating and your weight," Levitsky explained. "It used to be taught that you shouldn't weigh yourself daily, and this is just the reverse."
While daily weight checks did help women, they had a much greater effect in men.
"It seems to work better for men than women, for reasons we cannot figure out yet," Levitsky said.
The study was published recently in the Journal of Obesity.