Why We Weigh Less on Fridays

Weekend behavior often results in subtle weight gain by Mondays
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2014 8:10 AM CST
Why We Weigh Less on Fridays
Four fitness trackers are shown in this 2013 photo. It turns out weekend behavior often results in subtle weight gain by Mondays.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

For most of us, weekends are a time to relax and indulge—maybe through more sleep, more couch time, or more calories in the food and beverages we consume. The result is that we tend to weigh slightly more on Sunday and Monday, but then slightly less again by Friday, reports the Smithsonian. And enough of us do this that scientists say they've observed the general weight trend in a small study published in the journal Obesity Facts. The researchers analyzed the recorded daily weights of 80 adults ages 25 to 62 and found weight "increases begin on Saturday and decreases begin on Tuesday."

Before we all fall into a pit of despair in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, one doctor stresses on PLOS' Obesity Panacea blog that it's not a bad thing to "cheat" diets and habits on the weekends. In fact, it "allows you to enjoy some highly-favored but potentially calorie-dense foods in relative moderation, potentially increasing long-term adherence to a diet." The study's authors agree, telling CNN that "some indulging" does no harm. (Meanwhile, if you want to lose weight, research indicates you shouldn't forgo fats.)

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