The most effective diet aid may be your bathroom scale.
Dieters who routinely weigh themselves have a greater ability to resist food temptations that could derail their weight loss, according to researchers from Boston College.
It's actually common sense: When you see the numbers on the scale falling--even slowly--it gives you a boost of confidence and determination to keep dieting.
The study: Led by Yaguang Zheng of the Connell School of Nursing at Boston College, the team followed 148 people who participated in a year-long behavioral weight-loss study. Participants were grouped according to how often they weighed themselves while dieting--from six days a week to never.
Halfway through the study and again at the end of the study, the researchers assessed what they called the participants' "confidence to avoid eating" in certain situations, including when they felt sad, when food was readily available and when there was social pressure to eat.
The results: At the end of the 12-month study, those who weighed themselves at least six times a week had the greatest increase in their confidence to avoid overeating, while those who weighed themselves less frequently or not at all experienced no such change.
The takeaway: When you start a diet, buy a good bathroom scale and use it every day.
--From the Editors at Netscape