It’s a scary statistic: About 40% of people who lose weight gain it all back within a year. But Cornell University has hit on a jaw-droppingly simple way to keep that flab from doubling back: Weigh yourself each day and keep track of the results.
In the university’s two-year study, 162 subjects who wanted to lose weight were given a target of dropping 10% of their starting body weight, then split into two groups: one that got on the scale daily and recorded their poundage on a graph, and one that didn’t.
At the end of the first year, both groups had lost close to the same weight (about 5 percent). But the big shock came in the second year: Only the scale group kept the pounds off—a feat almost unheard of in weight-loss programs.
Daily weighing “counteracts the food cues in our environment,” says study VIP Carly Pacanowski, Ph.D. Sure, it’s a pain in the ass (less so if you buy a Withings scale, which beams the results to your smartphone via Wi-Fi). But wouldn’t you rather face the truth when you’re standing on a scale than when you’re trying to zip up the pants you’re supposed to wear to the wedding?