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Feeling guilty for tucking into a pizza pie or pint of ice cream over the weekend? As long as you resume a sensible eating and exercise plan over the workweek, new research shows successful weight loss can be achieved even after splurging on the weekends.
It’s a bit of good news when it comes to the battle of the bulge, as the findings absolve dieters from feeling guilty and remorseful following an indulgent weekend. The study also pokes holes in regimes that are overly restrictive.
For their research, published out of Cornell University, scientists looked at weight loss and weight gain cycles among 80 adults, ranging in age from 25 to 62 years.
Participants were asked to weigh themselves after waking up over a period spanning 15 to 330 days in order to tease out weight fluctuation patterns and corresponding days of the week.
Interestingly, researchers observed that individuals who lost weight over the period of the study were more likely to splurge over the weekend, as weight variability fluctuated markedly between the weekend and weekdays.
Weight losers reached their maximum weekly weight in 59 percent of cases on Sunday and Monday, and the week’s minimum weight in 60 percent of cases on Friday or Saturday.
In other words, though they may have indulged in a burger and brownie on the weekend, come Monday they resumed a less caloric diet.
Individuals who gained weight, meanwhile, showed no discernable minimum and maximum weight fluctuations over the week.
Overall, researchers note that successful weight control is more achievable if diets aren’t excessively restrictive, but allow for short-term splurges.
The caveat? Resuming a healthy diet for the rest of the week.
The findings were published in the journal Obesity Facts.