04/02/2014 05:57 GMT | Updated 04/02/2014 05:59 GMT

The Secret To Weight Loss Is What You Eat On Weekdays

It's no surprise - we blame takeaways and too much boozing - that people gain weight on weekends, while losing it again during the week.

But according to a recent study, the key to weight loss is to focus on how much weight you lose during the week, rather than fretting about gain at weekends.


weight loss calendar

Researchers analysed the weight fluctuations of eighty individuals over a seven-days-a-week cycle, study participants were categorised according to relative weight changes: weight losers (-3% weight loss), weight gainers (+1% weight gain), and weight maintainers (-3% to 1% weight change).

Each individual was asked to weight themselves before breakfast. Only measurements taken over seven consecutive days were included - the minimum follow-up time was 15 days and maximum 330 days.

Researchers noted a difference in weight loss patterns between weight gainers and losers.

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Weight losers began losing weight immediately after the weekend - with 60% reaching lowest weight on Friday or Saturday - whereas gainers' weight showed more variation.

Authors conclude that while there is no harm in letting go at the weekend, it is important - for weight loss - to manage weight fluctuation rhythms.

They study was carried out by Cornell University.