Sometimes the hardest part of weight loss is keeping it off. It can be daunting to know that within two years, most dieters regain two-thirds of what they lost! But researchers studied 291 people (mostly women) who had lost at least 10% of their body weight (an average of 44 pounds) in the previous two years.
Participants were given scales (and encouraged to use them daily), as well as different levels of support (either a monthly email, an internet chat group, or face-to-face meetings). At the onset of the study, 40% of the dieters were weighing themselves daily. After 18 months, 65% of those who chatted online and 72% of those who received face-to-face support weighed themselves daily, while those without support weighed themselves less. On top of that, 68% of dieters who did NOT weight-in daily gained five pounds or more over the course of the 18-month study.
Action Sparked: This study shows the importance both social support (either online or in person), and keeping track of your progress--even after you have already met your goal. You can get (and give!) plenty of support from your exercise buddies, trainer, family, and friends too. When you weigh yourself regularly, you're more likely to catch weight gain early on--and do something about it.
Give yourself about a 5-pound range to stay within, and continue to watch your calories and get plenty of exercise after you meet your goal. While daily weigh-ins might not be necessarily for everyone, you can still keep yourself in check with consistent, weekly weigh-ins, body fat tests, or other measurements (such as waist, hips, etc.).
Exercise Extra: Muscle weights more than fat, but takes up less space. So don't be surprised if you end up gaining some weight as a result of exercising.