Weight loss secrets revealed

While many diets can help you lose weight, they don’t work over the long term because you will probably gain it back. These are the striking results of our recent study of more than 3,500 Withings scale users. But wait! We also discovered what really does work. Want long-term weight loss success? Keep reading and use the dropdown menus to see how our results apply to your age class, gender, and BMI.

Discover our study

Diets don’t work…
but they’re very popular

Diets are the 2nd most popular method to lose weight, with 83% of our users saying they’ve followed a diet to lose weight. Among women over 40, diets are most popular method. But, for long-term weight loss, we found that diets just don’t cut it. We decided to look closer and find out what does work.

Percentage of users by method already employed to lose weight

(use the dropdown menus above to see how it varies with age and gender)






The Yo-Yo effect is real
(& really scary)

Yes, diets help people lose weight. But our study revealed that no matter what diet you choose, people gain back 65% of the lost weight in the six months following the diet. Even worse: you undo all that hard work and you can change the body’s fat-to-muscle ratio, as regained weight is mainly fat.

is the proportion of the lost weight that is gained back on average in the six months following the diet

Low calorie





Initial weight

Weight at the end of the diet

Weight 6 months after the end of the diet

Coach.me also ran a study to compare popular diets. They found that adherence made people lose up to 4x more weight, and that simply giving up soda and fast food contributed to extra 1.2% of weight loss. Check out the full results here.

What really works

Healthy eating habit are powerful

So if diets don’t go the distance, what does? Not to sound like your mom, but the answer is clear: good eating habits matter. Amazingly, the probability of being overweight is increased by 42% when people eat quickly, and is reduced by 26% when people eat at least 4 fruits or vegetables per day.

Probability of being overweight vs. having a normal BMI.

Regular tracking wins

Here’s a simple, but astonishingly powerful key to success: Track food, track weight, and don’t stop, because it works. We observed that when overweight or obese users track their weight and food intake regularly, they lose over 7 times more than users who are not regular trackers.

more weight is lost on average by users that track regularly their weight and food intake.

Total weight loss (in 1 year)

  • Doesn’t track food + weight frequently
  • Tracks food frequently
  • Tracks weight frequently
  • Tracks food + weight frequently

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About the study

This study was conducted by Withings based on data gathered from a panel of more than 3,500 users of Withings connected scales. Weight loss was determined according to the declared diet duration, and historical weight data.

Withings guarantees the confidentiality of personal data and protects the privacy of all its users. Therefore, all data used for this study was rigorously anonymized and aggregated in order to avoid any re-identification.

The popular diets we studied are:

  • Atkins: low-carbohydrate diet, based on cutting back on foods like bread, pasta, potatoes, and sweets
  • Dukan: protein-based diet, based on eating lots of lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and vegetables
  • Low calorie: based on being able to eat what you like while also reducing your total number of calories
  • Mediterranean: based on eating primarily fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains, fish, and olive oil
  • Paleo: based on eating like the earliest humans, featuring meat, fish, grains, fruits, and the elimination of all processed foods

A detailed glossary of diet types can be found in this WebMD link.

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