Blog | Wednesday, February 12, 2014

QD: News Every Day--'Weekend effect' found for weight gain

People’s weight naturally fluctuates throughout the week, weighing more on Sunday and Monday, then decreasing Friday only to add pounds on the weekend, a study found. The good news is that long-term habits may make more of a difference than short-term splurges.

Researchers conducted a retrospective study that combined self-monitored weight measurements from 4 earlier studies to track the daily weight in 80 adults with a body-mass index from normal to overweight. There were more than 4,600 measurements during weigh-ins ranging from 15 to 330 monitoring days.

Results appeared online at Obesity Facts.

This compensation pattern was strongest for those who lost or maintained weight and weakest for those who slowly gained weight. Among those patients who lost weight, their lowest reading on the scale was most frequently on Friday and, in 60% of the cases, the week’s lowest tally occurred either on Friday or Saturday, followed by the maximum weight most often on Sunday or Monday in 59% of the cases.

Among those who maintained weight or gained it, both the minimum and maximum weight of the week was most frequently measured on Sunday, with the second highest maximum occurring on Monday.

Weight variations between weekends and weekdays should be considered as normal instead of signs of weight gain, researchers concluded. People who compensate the best for weight gain during the week were the most likely to either lose or maintain weight over time, so counseling people prone to weight gain could alert them to the importance of weekday compensation.