Best way to control your weight? Hint: It’s not just diet or exercise!

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How do you actually control your weight? Everybody knows it’s diet and exercise, right? Well, here’s an oddball thing you can do that’s not diet or exercise and can help you lose weight and keep it off!

Read more: Study: Dietary supplements send 23,000 to the ER every year

The bathroom scale is your friend!

Maybe you grew up with the conventional wisdom that you should only weigh yourself once a week. But that advice is now changing. A new study out of the Duke Global Health Institute finds that the optimal weigh-in frequency is daily.

Among the study’s findings:

• A two-year study of 162 overweight and obese gym members found those asked to weigh themselves daily and chart the results were more likely to lose significant weight and then keep it off, according to USA TODAY.

• Accountability works! A study of 92 overweight adults found more weight loss among those who made a daily habit of weighing in on a digital scale that sent results to a website. Weight loss counselors were then able to see the results and offer tips and encouragement.

I can personally attest to this study because I weigh everyday of my life. I have a scale and I get on it daily. I used to weigh about 35 pounds more than I have for the last 10 years.

About a decade ago, I set out to lose weight and I’ve kept if off ever since. I use a digital scale that gives me my weight to a tenth of a pound. I don’t write it down, or send it to an app or anything like that. But I do weigh religiously everyday. My hunch was that having that report card in my face every morning would make me less likely to slip into old bad eating habits. And it’s worked!

Which foods are best for weight loss?

Recent studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggest that all those fancy diets that are all about controlling this or that in your food intake may have it all wrong. The only thing that matters is how many calories you consume, in spite of all the claims by all the diet people about eat this, not that.

In other words, the studies in JAMA are saying that portion control leading to reduced overall caloric intake is really the only thing that matters. On portion control, when I travel around the world, everywhere else I go offers smaller portions than here in the United States. The plate the food is served on may be giant, but the portions themselves are small.


For example, I was in an Italian restaurant in Europe and I watched a family get a ‘family size’ portion of lasagna to feed four people. But the portion looked so small to me! That’s when I realized it was about the same size that you would get here in the United States for one person.

On a related note, I lift weights three times a week at the YMCA. Around this time of year, there’s no space in the parking lot to even pull in because everybody is there with their new year’s resolutions to get fit. I had to spend an extra 15 minutes when I finally did get in the gym because there were so many extra people using the equipment. Yet as one of the regulars said to me, ‘Just wait until February and they’ll be gone.’

If you have a new year’s resolution to get fit, I suggest you get a buddy who can motivate you to stick to an exercise regimen. And never sign a gym contract!

Read more: Your doctor may not be keeping your personal info as secure as you think

Want money-saving health advice? See our Health & Health Care section.

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