It’s a familiar story: Most dramatic weight loss transformations end in dramatic gain-backs within a year (studies show this happens in about 40 percent of people). But there's one simple trick to keep the pounds off, according to a Cornell University study. Weigh yourself every day and track the results.
In the study, 162 subjects who wanted to lose weight were given a target of dropping 10 percent of their starting body weight, then split into two groups: one that got on the scale daily and recorded their poundage on a graph, and one that didn’t. At the end of a year, both groups lost close to the same amount of weight (about 5 percent). But the big shock came in the second year: Only the scale group kept the pounds off.
What's more, new research from The University of Manchester indicates the more often people use digital scales, the more weight they lose. The study was conducted in partnership with Withings—the French connected-health technology manufacturer who gathered data from a random sample of their UK-based Smart Scale customers.
The research was gathered over a four-year period, in which 975 men and women participated. Users who interacted the most with their Internet-enabled scales just so happened to lose the most weight—the equivalent of an extra 2.5 pounds lost in men and 2 pounds lost in women a year.
"In this study we wanted to know more about the ways that engagement with weighing scales indicates the users' behaviour, something that is only possible with recent advances in technology,” study author Matthew Sperrin said in a press release. “By working with Withings we were able to spot a strong correlation between self-weighing and weight-loss, particularly that the more a patient weighed themselves, the more weight they were shown to lose.” Though it's not clear whether the weight change encourages people to monitor their weight more closely or the monitoring encourages the weight loss.
Aside from the Withings, we've compiled four more of the best Internet-enabled scales you can buy. Monitor everything from your weight to your BMI—and keep the flab off for good.
With the Smart Body Analyzer, you'll get highly accurate readings on your weight, BMI, fat mass, and heart rate that's optimized to your body type. If you're highly active on a regular basis, you can switch the scale to "Athlete mode"—easy as that. Every time you step on the scale, your weigh-in and health readings will automatically pop up in the the Health Mate app where your history is always available. The chart is updated constantly so you can see what lifestyle factors are working, reinforce any positive behaviors (and reverse the negative ones), and stay focused on the big picture. Plus, Withings joined with MyFitnessPal, the top-rated food logging app, so you can track your food intake and manage your calorie budget, in addition to receiving personalized coaching, reminders, and weekly progress reports. The two work in tandem to cheer you on your weight loss journey.
- Recognizes up to 8 different users. - Sync with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
Escali - SmartConnect Body Scale with Bluetooth LE
The SmartConnect Body Scale works directly with the Escali SmartConnect Mobile App to track your body weight and BMI, while setting goals and viewing your progress. The measurements are automatically sent to your Apple or Android mobile device with Bluetooth Low Energy technology—the power- and application-friendly version of Bluetooth. (Think of a morning routine where you use a heart rate monitor and your fitness tracker on your morning run, followed by your water-proof speaker in the shower, then your tablet to lock your doors and lower the temperature as you leave for work.) This allows for more enhanced health monitoring. What's more, the SmartConnect Body Scale supports 440 pounds, and its black glass platform is fixed with bright back-light display, instant-on and display hold technology, and an automatic shut-off battery for an extended life. It’s also compatible with the SmartConnect Kitchen Scale to help you keep track of your diet and your body weight all in one place.
- The scale is designed for one user. - Sync with devices that support Bluetooth Low Energy technology.
With Fitbit's Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale, you can measure your weight, body mass index, lean mass, and body fat percentage. Setting, tracking, and reaching goals has never been easier: The scale is compatible with all Fitbit trackers and the Fitbit app, including Calorie Coaching. Your short- and long-term fitness and health trends are mapped on easy-to-read charts and graphs so you can easily follow your progress.
- Recognizes up to 8 different users and keeps individual results private. - Sync with Wi-Fi.
What's unique to the Polar Balance scale is it actually interacts with you by offering daily activity goals and guidance on reaching heath, fitness, and weight goals. You begin by setting a target weight in the Polar Flow app, available on iOS and Android. This way every time you step on the scale, your weight will be sent to the app or one of Polar's fitness trackers. Based on your activity level and weight gain or loss, you'll receive daily goals based on the scale's recommendations, motivational feedback, and advice (like increase daily activity by a particular amount) to keep you on track. You'll never need to keep a food diary or estimate your calorie intake either. You simply need to reach your daily activity goals and maintain a steady, healthy diet.
- Recognizes up to 10 different users. - Sync with devices that support Bluetooth Low Energy technology.
Starting at $99.95, polar.com (comes in white and black)
Measure weight, body mass index, body fat, bone and muscle mass, and water percentage with the Garmin Index Smart Scale. The scale boasts an impressive nine-month battery life and allows you to wirelessly sync your data to Garmin Connect, their free online fitness community. With this, you can see the results of your efforts and review those stats whether you're an average guy trying to maintain a healthy weight or an athlete looking to lower your body fat and increase your muscle mass. The scale works seamlessly with any Garmin wearable to personally fit your sport or preferred form of exercise. From device to your computer desktop, review your progress and surpass your goals.
Garmin's Index Smart Scale allows up to 16 (!) people to have their body composition metrics measured and uploaded directly to their own Garmin Connect accounts, so your family and friends can take advantage of the tech, too.
- Recognizes up to 16 different users. - Sync with Bluetooth and ANT wireless connectivity; Wi-Fi connected.