Background/aims: The week's cycle influences sleep, exercise, and eating habits. An accurate description of weekly weight rhythms has not been reported yet - especially across people who lose weight versus those who maintain or gain weight.
Methods: The daily weight in 80 adults (BMI 20.0-33.5 kg/m(2); age, 25-62 years) was recorded and analysed to determine if a group-level weekly weight fluctuation exists. This was a retrospective study of 4,657 measurements during 15-330 monitoring days. Semi-parametric regression was used to model the rhythm.
Results: A pattern of daily weight changes was found (p < 0.05), with higher weight early in the week (Sunday and Monday) and decreasing weight during the week. Increases begin on Saturday and decreases begin on Tuesday. This compensation pattern was strongest for those who lost or maintained weight and weakest for those who slowly gained weight.
Conclusion: Weight variations between weekends and weekdays should be considered as normal instead of signs of weight gain. Those who compensate the most are most likely to either lose or maintain weight over time. Long-term habits may make more of a difference than short-term splurges. People prone to weight gain could be counselled about the importance of weekday compensation.
© 2014 S. Karger GmbH, Freiburg.