ITHACA, N.Y. – Trying to lose weight? Eating well during the week might be more important than the occasional weekend splurge, says a new study.
Researchers examined how the seven-days-a-week human cycle impacts weight. They discovered almost everyone loses weight during the week and gains weight on weekends.
“There is a clear weekly rhythm to weight variation for most people,” said Anna-Leena Orsama of VTT Technical Research Center, Finland. “On the weekends there is more variability and unpredictability in what we eat.”
The study also showed preliminary evidence that those who show the largest decrease in weight between Sunday and Friday are more likely to either lose or maintain weight over time.
“Weight variations between weekdays and weekends should be considered normal instead of weight gain,” said Cornell University behavioral economist Brian Wansink. “The big difference between those who gain weight over time and those who lose or maintain weight is directly related to the way they eat from Monday to Friday. Some indulging during weekends makes no harm but for successful weight loss it is important to notice these rhythms and take steps to reverse the upward trends after the weekend.”
The study, “Weight Rhythms: Weight Increases during Weekends and Decreases during Weekdays,” was a collaborative research effort between Cornell University, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Tampere University of Technology and was published this week in Obesity Facts.