Specialisation: Weight Loss

Does Daily Self-Weighing Have an Impact on an Individual’s Mental Health and Weight Loss Journey?

Weight change is affected by a number of factors. One of the factors is self-monitoring. Different studies have been conducted to identify the relationship between self-monitoring and weight change. Some of the factors examined by researchers include psychology and overall mental health development. The existing studies have not sufficiently addressed the issue of the relationship between self-monitoring of weight change and mental health. Daily self-weighing might have other effects on the psychological well-being of the individual. There is a need to examine the existing literature and develop a relevant research question that will seek to explore the impact of self-weighing on the individual’s mental health and weight loss journey.

Literature Review

Goldstein et al. (2019) examine the relationship between weight monitoring and weight change. The study found that self-monitoring corresponds to weight loss. Monitoring one’s physical activities and adherence to self-weighing are more effective in ensuring weight change than self-monitoring of dietary intake. The research is both qualitative and quantitative. The authors examine the various variables and statistics through observation. One of the primary advantages of this kind of research is its emphasis on testing specific ideas and hypotheses. The research paper adheres to the APA principle of obtaining informed consent from the participants. In addition, the statistical analysis made in the study is relevant and appropriate for the research question. The differences in percentages of every aspect are analyzed, and a clear description is provided in the research.

In their article, Hernández-Reyes et al. (2020) examine how self-weighing impacts the overall process of weight loss treatment. The results indicated that people who weighed themselves at home during the treatment period had significant weight loss. In addition, those with knowledge about their weight registered a reduced weight after the treatment period. The research adopts the experimental research design. The authors designed different variables and compared the outcomes in each case. One advantage of the study is its effectiveness in differentiating different variables and offering a comprehensive analysis. The appropriateness of the statistical analysis is highlighted by the participants’ selection and the high number of respondents identified by the authors.

LaRose et al. (2014) sought to understand whether daily self-weighing and disordered eating symptoms are associated. The observation conducted on one hundred and seventy-eight people revealed that there was an insignificant association between the two phenomena. The researchers adopted both qualitative and quantitative research designs to complete the project. One of the disadvantages of the research is that it requires multiple sessions to make a valid conclusion about the observation made. The statistical analysis done by the authors is relevant and offers a valid reflection of the study subject. Statistics are well explained, and the possible reasons behind every phenomenon are well illustrated by the authors. The authors have, however, failed to indicate whether they followed the privacy and confidentiality guidelines.

Research conducted by Pacanowski et al. (2015) sought to identify how self-weighing affects individuals’ psychological well-being. The study found that most of the people who engage in self-weighing have minimal or no adverse impact on their psychological wellbeing. One study found that frequent weighing is associated with positive moods. The study adopts the correlational research design. This type of research is critical in making a relationship between two variables and using the results to make a viable conclusion. The statistical analysis in the study included identifying the existing literature materials and making a comparison. The analysis might not be the most appropriate to address the research question. To adhere to human rights and informed consent, the authors avoided any literature that had no declarations on how humans and animals were treated in the study.

Steinberg et al. (2014) conducted research to identify how daily self-weighing and adverse psychological outcomes relate to each other. The results revealed that weight loss interventions had no adverse effects on the psychological wellbeing of the person. Weight loss interventions have no impact on depressive symptoms (Gorin et al., 2019). The research was both qualitative and quantitative. There was the employment of statistics to quantify certain qualities and descriptions of the observations. The study design is appropriate for addressing the type of question and helping the reader make viable conclusions. The research adheres to the APA requirement of obtaining informed consent from the participants.

The gap in the Research

The research carried out provides critical insights into how self-monitoring and weight loss are related. However, the studies have not addressed specific issues such as daily self-weighing and the person’s mental health. One might, for instance, need to understand the specific mental disorder that might get affected by daily weighing. In addition, the existing research in general about the intervals of self-weighing. The new study will be specific on the intervals of the individual’s self-weighing. Mental health does not only include the psychology of a person. One will need to consider other aspects of mental health, including disorders that might arise due to the daily self-weighing. The research will focus on any mental health issue that might arise in daily self-weighing.

Theoretical Considerations

One psychological theory that provides context for the research is the theory of planned behavior. Weigh reduction that corresponds to the person’s lifestyle is difficult to foster (Chung & Fong, 2015). The theory examines some of the underlying reasons that explain a person’s behavior and emphasizes the positive behavior that promotes health. According to the theory, the person’s attitude to a given situation determines the success or failure of the process. The theory can be applied in the weight loss process to allow the person to develop a positive approach that promotes a healthy lifestyle. This can be done by identifying the psychological effects of monitored weight loss and finding ways to reduce the adverse effects.

Research Question, Variables, and Hypothesis

The research question aims to examine whether daily self-weighing impacts an individual’s mental health and weight loss journey. The question will address the specific effects of self-weighing and relate the results with the mental health development of the population under study. Variables will include people suffering from obesity and those trying to cut their weight. In addition, the research will examine children, adults, and people of different genders by first requesting their consent to participate. One of the research hypotheses will be that daily self-weighing adversely influences an individual’s mental health.

The existing literature indicates a positive relationship between weight monitoring and weight change. People under treatment need to keep checking on their weight to develop the best measures in adjusting their weight and achieving the desired health outcome. There is an insignificant relationship between self-weighing and psychological well-being. The existing literature did not address the specific effects of weight monitoring. A new study will be required to identify the specific association between daily self-weighing and an individual’s mental health.


Chung, L., & Fong, S. (2015). Predicting actual weight loss: A review of the determinants according to the theory of planned behaviour. Health Psychology Open2(1), 205510291456797. https://doi.org/10.1177/2055102914567972

Goldstein, S., Goldstein, C., Bond, D., Raynor, H., Wing, R., & Thomas, J. (2019). Associations between self-monitoring and weight change in behavioral weight loss interventions. Health Psychology38(12), 1128-1136. https://doi.org/10.1037/hea0000800

Gorin, A., Gokee LaRose, J., Espeland, M., Tate, D., Jelalian, E., & Robichaud, E. et al. (2019). Eating pathology and psychological outcomes in young adults in self-regulation interventions using daily self-weighing. Health Psychology38(2), 143-150. https://doi.org/10.1037/hea0000689

Hernández-Reyes, A., Cámara-Martos, F., Vidal, Á., Molina-Luque, R., & Moreno-Rojas, R. (2020). Effects of Self-Weighing During Weight Loss Treatment: A 6-Month Randomized Controlled Trial. Frontiers in Psychology11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00397

LaRose, J., Fava, J., Steeves, E., Hecht, J., Wing, R., & Raynor, H. (2014). Daily self-weighing within a lifestyle intervention: Impact on disordered eating symptoms. Health Psychology33(3), 297-300. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0034218

Pacanowski, C., Linde, J., & Neumark-Sztainer, D. (2015). Self-Weighing: Helpful or Harmful for Psychological Well-Being? A Review of the Literature. Current Obesity Reports4(1), 65-72. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13679-015-0142-2

Steinberg, D., Tate, D., Bennett, G., Ennett, S., Samuel-Hodge, C., & Ward, D. (2014). Daily Self-Weighing and Adverse Psychological Outcomes. American Journal of Preventive Medicine46(1), 24-29. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2013.08.006