Daily Weigh-Ins and Green Gum

"Not everything that can be counted counts
and not everything that counts can be counted ."
~ Albert Einstein

A study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine tells us how to keep weight off:  Weigh ourselves daily. Then make the following adjustments.

If we start to regain, have someone tell us about weight gain prevention techniques that focus on “adjusting” eating and exercise behaviors, and then advise us to “re-start active weight loss efforts” with calorie and fat gram counting or maybe a liquid meal replacement product.

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At check-ins, if we are within three pounds of our successful weight loss goal (the “green zone”), have someone give us something green, like green gum. (“You go girl, here’s your green gum!”).

According to the study, the "daily-weigh-in-and-get-told-what-you-should-do-and-get-green-gum" group averaged an overall regain of only five pounds less than the control group. Five pounds! Is that how we want to live? Constant daily monitoring and weigh-ins, and tedious nutrition and exercise advice. For a return of five measly pounds? Hmmm.

The study also concluded that individuals in the "daily-weigh-in-and-get-told-what-you-should-do-and-get-green-gum" group were 82% more likely to keep the weight off, compared to the control group. What is noteworthy is that the "green gum groups" met regularly, either in person or online. The control group, in contrast, simply got a quarterly newsletter telling them what to do (and no green gum!). Hmmm.

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So, was it really the constant monitoring, weigh-ins and tedious nutrition and exercise advice that kept the weight off? Or, could it have been the nourishing connections the participants formed at the group meetings? Could it have been that these supportive relationships bolstered participants’ efforts to care for and appreciate themselves? What do you think?

Do we benefit most from constant monitoring? Or nourishing relationships?

And, please, make sure you read weight loss studies and articles with a grain of salt (with or without green gum).

About Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, LDN, SEP

Karin is a registered and licensed nutritionist in private practice in Gainesville, FL. Her passion is to help you escape food and body angst and learn to manage your eating and weight intuitively and naturally. Visit www.EatingWisdom.com for free handouts, online courses and more tips on mindful, intuitive eating and healing disordered eating.

© 2014 Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, LDN. Adapted from the work of Amy Tuttle RD, LCSW and Karin Kratina.