The start of summer is here and vacation plans are ready. But if the only thing you want to bring back from your vacation is a souvenir that fits in your suitcase and not an extra size, there’s a simple step you can take while enjoying the trip. Here is a tip that will help you not gain weight this summer. One study looked at the influence of a scale on weight gain while on vacation.
Experts say using a scale or being more mindful can help people avoid major weight gain while on vacation.
Researchers at the University of Georgia reveal that people who weigh themselves daily during times when they are more likely to indulge themselves, such as vacations and parties, are better at maintaining or even losing weight. than those who dare not step on the scale.
In the study, which was published in the scientific journal Obesity, researchers divided 111 adults aged 18 to 65 into two groups, one of which had to weigh themselves daily. As part of this intervention, the study authors asked participants to try to maintain their initial weight throughout the study period, which extended from Thanksgiving to the day after New Year’s Day. However, the researchers did not give them specific instructions on how to do this. Participants were free to choose, whether through exercise, calorie reduction, or another technique of their choosing.
The control group, on the other hand, was not weighed daily and received no instructions regarding their weight. At the end of the intervention and after a follow-up period of 14 weeks, participants who weighed themselves daily managed to maintain their weight or even lose it. The control group, meanwhile, gained weight.
The researchers explain that people are very sensitive to deviations or differences between their current state and their norm or goal. When they see this discrepancy, it tends to lead to a change in behavior. The self-measurement of one’s daily weight ends up doing it for people in a very clear way.
Is holiday weight gain worth worrying about?
Research suggests that adults often gain between 0.4 and 0.9 kilograms during the holiday season. People who are overweight or obese often gain even more weight during this time. This type of weight gain can be cumulative, that is, it rarely disappears, but increases frequently. Over the years and decades, this “creeping obesity” increases the risk of weight-related health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
Since the likelihood of food swerves is higher on vacation, any way to increase accountability i.e. make you think twice about eating that third cookie before bed because knowing you have to step on the scale the next morning is a good thing. That being said, it’s important to understand that the variability of scale settings is high, so it’s not helpful to try to compare your weight on your home scale to your hotel scale.
Beware of obsession all the same: don’t ruin your vacation
Be careful though, there are also some travel factors you need to take into account, things that can push up the number on the scale even if you haven’t gained weight. Air travel often causes significant water retention, which can impact your scale. With that in mind, use the bathroom scale on vacation as a way to increase accountability, limit damage, and keep a cool head.
For other experts, the impulse to weigh yourself every day may actually be more problematic than gaining a few extra grams from that frozen margarita.
When we think about health, it’s important to consider all the factors that impact our well-being, including our mental health. When a person feels compelled to weigh themselves daily, it can create underlying stress and anxiety that literally sucks the joy out of life. If you are going on vacation.
Is there a middle ground between weighing and not weighing?
A middle-of-the-road approach can be the path to enjoying your vacation and not worrying about the weight gain that is possible with a little holiday splurging. Obsessing over a few pounds exposes us to a restrictive mindset that drives us into an unsustainable all-or-nothing lifestyle.
But worry about gaining even a little weight can be difficult to overcome, precisely because once you’ve gained weight, it’s hard to lose it. Perhaps the best way to enjoy your vacation without having to constantly watch the needle of the scale is to approach the vacation more sensibly.
It’s common to indulge yourself more than usual on vacation, usually due to exposure to new experiences. These behaviors do not need to be measured by body weight, whether on vacation or not. On the contrary, mindful eating behaviors, whether you are at home or on vacation, allow you to enjoy your time measured by subjective experiences, rather than objective body weight.
If you’re actively trying to lose weight or keep it off, you may have already gotten into the habit of weighing yourself more often. Maintaining this habit while you’re away from home for a little rest can help you control the swing of the scales. But if it’s going to spoil the joy of the vacation you crave, don’t weigh yourself and eat more mindfully. Splurge when it’s worth it, but don’t overindulge in every meal, every day.
Daily Self-Weighing to Prevent Holiday-Associated Weight Gain in Adults
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