Dust Off Your Scale and Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

graphical feedback showing weight fluctuations. The other half—the control group, did not receive any instructions.

Participants who weighed themselves daily on scales and received graphical feedback of their weight changes either maintained or lost weight during the holiday season, while participants who did not perform daily self-weighing gained weight.

The study’s authors report that participants in the intervention group were instructed to try to maintain their starting weight throughout the holiday season. However, no additional instructions on how to achieve that goal were provided. These instructions allowed each participant to self-select how they would modify their behavior. For instance, an individual could become more physically active or decide to eat less if a weight increase was noticed.

“Maybe they exercise a little bit more the next day (after seeing a weight increase) or they watch what they are eating more carefully,” study author Jamie Cooper, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Foods and Nutrition at the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences, said in a release. “The subjects self-select how they are going to modify their behavior, which can be effective because we know that interventions are not one-size-fits-all.”

Co-author Michelle van Dellen, an associate professor at the University of Georgia Department of Psychology, said in a release, “People are really sensitive to discrepancies or differences between their current selves and their

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