The way to maintain your weight (or even lose a few kilos) during your vacation is by weighing yourself daily on the trip, according to researchers from the University of Georgia. A new study suggests doing this when you are more likely to indulge in too much of the good stuff could prevent weight gain.
For the study, 111 participants between the ages of 18 and 65 were divided into two groups. One group had to weigh themselves on a daily basis. Participants were also asked to maintain their starting weight through the course of the study. The group was free to do this in the way they desired, whether it was monitoring their calorie intake or exercising regularly.
The study lasted for about four weeks from Thanksgiving to New Year's. The results showed those who weighed themselves every day managed to either maintain their weight or even lose more. Meanwhile, those who didn't weigh themselves gained more.
"People are really sensitive to discrepancies or differences between their current selves and their standard or goal,” Michelle vanDellen, PhD, an associate professor in the University of Georgia in the department of psychology’s behavioural and brain sciences program and one of the study’s authors, told a news portal. Adding, "When they see that discrepancy, it tends to lead to behavioural change. Daily self-weighing ends up doing that for people in a really clear way.”
Since vacation time is all about rest and relaxation, is it worth worrying about our weight while on holiday necessary? "Since the likelihood of indiscretions is higher on vacation, any way to increase accountability, i.e. making you think twice before eating that third cookie before bed since you know you need to step on the scale the next morning, is a good thing,” Dr Charlie Seltzer, a physician board-certified in obesity medicine based in Philadelphia, told a news portal. Adding, “That being said, it is important to understand that interscale variability is high, so it is not helpful to try to compare your weight on your home scale to your hotel scale.”
It is also important to note travelling by air can increase the number on the scale automatically. "Flying often causes major water retention, which can impact the scale. So, with that in mind, use the scale on vacation as a means to increase accountability, exercise damage control, and to keep your head in the game,” Seltzer told a news portal.
The study's findings were published in the journal Obesity.