People who weigh themselves regularly are more successful at losing weight and keeping it off. But standing on a scale, in itself, doesn’t help people to magically lose weight. Rather, standing on a bathroom scale every day may encourage some people to think about their eating and exercise habits, plan ways to lose weight, and help them resist temptation. In other words, the bathroom scale might help people self-regulate.
To find out whether this is true, we asked 24 people to record their thoughts during daily weighing for eight weeks. We found that most people didn’t use self-regulation, but those who did were more likely to lose weight. This led us to wonder whether we could teach people self-regulation skills to make weighing more useful.
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