Regular weigh-ins at home, plus simple weight-loss tips, could prevent people from piling on the pounds at Christmas, according to a new study.
The Universities of Birmingham and Loughborough divided 272 volunteers into two groups. The “intervention” group weighed themselves regularly.
They were also given information on how much exercise was needed to burn calories in Christmas food.
They ended up weighing 1lb (0.49kg) less than the “comparison” group.
The comparison group didn’t track their weight – they were just given a healthy lifestyle leaflet, which did not include dietary advice.
The researchers say the Winter Weight Watch Study, published today in the BMJ, is the first to look at preventing seasonal weight gain.
Lead author Frances Mason, of the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Applied Health Research, said avoiding weight gain during the festive period could help in the long-term fight against obesity.
“People gain a kilo of weight on average annually. Often this weight gain happens at Christmas, and is never fully lost. This could possibly be a factor driving the obesity epidemic.”