As we head into summer, and we are inundated by marketing messages heralding the start of beach season, I’m simultaneously struck by how many diet books, apps, and weight loss programs there are out there. They cost a fortune and require a great deal of time and energy.

Confucius said:

 Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

The same is true of weight loss. Instead of investing in a complicated diet plan, an “old school” strategy may be all you need.

In fact, stepping on a scale is an effective tool to lose unwanted pounds. In a study, the more frequently dieters weighed themselves, the more weight they lost. Of note, those who went a week without weighing themselves actually gained weight. The researchers recommend weighing in daily in order to lose weight.

A related finding by the same researchers highlights how weight naturally fluctuates throughout the week. Most people lose weight during weekdays and gain weight on weekends. Weight peaks on Sunday nights and is lowest on Friday mornings. Interestingly, what separates lean people from heavy ones is how much weight they lose on weekdays. In other words, indulging a little on weekends is okay as long as we get back on track on Monday.

The bottom line is: If you want to lose weight, weigh yourself every day. But if you’re going to weigh yourself only once a week, do it on Wednesday because that will give you the most accurate reading.