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Study: Frequent Trips To The Scale Could Be Key Factor In Weight Loss

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Are you struggling to lose weight? Do you dread stepping on the scale to monitor how the battle is going?

According to a new study, weighing yourself often may be a key to weight loss. The study goes against what we've been told for years, that daily weighing doesn't really reflect how you're doing long term.

People's daily weight can fluctuate a fair bit, and common knowledge dictates not seeing any progress day to day can be discouraging. As it turns out, that advice may have been wrong all along.

Sarah Lord has been trying to lose weight for as long as she can remember.

"I'll weigh myself on Monday morning to start my week then on Saturday to see how I did at the end of the week," she said.

New research from the University of Pittsburgh finds how often you weigh yourself may be a key to losing weight. The study shows people who weigh themselves daily are more likely to lose weight, compared to those who don't weigh themselves at all or weigh themselves rarely.

"I would remind you to eat healthy foods, watch your calories, portion sizes, maybe stay away from those tempting sweets in the office because you know you're going to be getting on the scale the next day," Registered Dietitian Martha McKittrick said.

The study of more than 1,000 adults shows those who weighed themselves at least several times a week had more significant weight loss in a year. People who never weighed, or weighed once a week, lost no weight.

Stepping on the scale every day may not be for everyone. McKittrick says weighing too often can decrease self-esteem, and increase anxiety.

"If you find weighing yourself every day helps you, and helps you stay on track, helps you stay focused, then I would recommend you do it," she said. "If you find weighing yourself makes you upset, or makes you lose motivation, or makes you obsessed with the scale, then I do not recommend you weigh yourself every day."

Sarah says getting on the scale more often has been a motivating force.

"If it goes down, great, of it goes up you just know you need to be a little more strict," she said.

According to McKittrick, one size does not fit all. That goes tenfold when it comes to weight loss. Different people will respond differently to diet and exercise plans, so the same is true when it comes to weighing yourself.

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