Weight Loss Cycles Revealed
February 3, 2014

Weight Rhythms Show Habits Of The Skinny And Fat

[ Watch the Video: Weight Gain Happens More On The Weekend ]

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

Just like a sleep cycle, humans have a weight loss cycle, where we lose more weight during the week and gain it back over the weekend. A new study from researchers at several universities looked into the impact that this weight cycle has on our bodies.

The study included 80 adults ranging in age from 25 to 62 years old, each of which were placed into a category relative to weight changes. The team discovered a clear pattern in weekly weight fluctuation with higher weight after weekends and decreasing weight during the weekdays.

Adults who lost three percent of their weight during the weekday were put into one category called weight losers, while those who gained a percent were in another one labeled weight gainers. The team considered the participants who had a loss of three to one percent in weight as weight maintainers.

Researchers analyzed the weekly weight patterns across the three groups, looking to observe whether weight fluctuation is dependent on the day of the week. They found a difference between weight losers and weight gainers in these fluctuation patterns.

According to the study, after weekends, the decrease in weight loss started immediately and continued its downward trend until Friday for the weight losers. The weight gainers had more variability between days and no clear decrease during weekdays.

The team found that weight losers reached week’s maximum weight in 59 percent of cases on Sunday and Monday and the week’s minimum weight of 60 percent on Friday or Saturday. Weight gainers did not see this pattern, and minimum and maximum weights did not systematically appear on certain days but were distributed throughout the week.

“Based on these results, weight variations between weekdays and weekends should be considered normal instead of weight gain,” the researchers wrote about weight rhythms on Cornell University’s Food and Bran Lab journal. “On the weekends people have more time to go out and eat. 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, even if it has to wait until Monday. Successful weight control is more likely to happen and for the long run if one is not too strict with one’s diet but allows for short-term splurges.”