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MedWatch-Weighing yourself

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

(CNN) -If you're trying to lose weight, the bathroom scale can sometimes feel like your enemy, but research is saying that maybe we shouldn't fear the scale so much after all.

A recent study published by researchers at Cornell University suggests that frequent weighing in, as much as once per day, can help weight-loss efforts for overweight adults. Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Leslie Heinberg says there are some benefits to checking the scale daily, because the more information you get, the better off you're going to be.

"If you're trying to lose weight without gathering some of this information, it's a little bit like driving your car in a new town without the GPS. You might stumble onto your destination, but having all that information, by having a road map, you're going to get there much more quickly and efficiently," Dr. Heinberg said.

Dr. Heinberg says that average weight adults can see their weight fluctuate by as much as five to six pounds per day, based on fluid retention or even the time of day they step on the scale. She says there is a danger in weighing yourself too much though, as it can make you feel like your efforts aren't paying off and may cause you to give up on weight loss. At the same time, only weighing yourself a few times a year can make it easy for excess pounds to creep in.

Dr. Heinberg usually recommends weighing in just once or twice per week, at the same time of the day, on the same days of the week. She also reminds us that sometimes the scale doesn't tell the whole story. 

"The scale, unfortunately, is a bad barometer of behavior change. You can do absolutely everything right and then you get on the scale and you're up two pounds," Dr. Heinberg said.

Regardless of the scale technique you choose, Dr. Heinberg says the number on the scale is just one piece of data and things like waist measurements and how your clothes fit are just as important for creating an overall picture of health.

In other health news, March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month and the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma in Lawton, Duncan, and Altus are offering free colon cancer screening kits through the end of the month. Visit any of the three locations to pick yours up or inquire about all of your screening options.

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