Weight is the result of your body's fight against Earth's gravity. It is sometimes used as a measurable parameter in some studies as it is cheap to measure the weight of many people, but more expensive to measure fat mass and lean mass separately.

This page features 274 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis by and verified by the Examine.com Research Team. Last updated on Apr 29, 2017.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and answers regarding Weight

Q: How do I lose fat around my belly?

Read full answer to "How do I lose fat around my belly?"

Q: Will lifting weights convert my fat into muscle?

Read full answer to "Will lifting weights convert my fat into muscle?"

Q: Does diet soda inhibit fat loss?

A: It does not inhibit fat loss at all, and may actually suppress appetite that could help fat loss (although it does not induce fat loss per se either). Diet soda, in regards to body fat, is a carbonated inert beverage

Read full answer to "Does diet soda inhibit fat loss?"

Q: How do I stay out of "starvation mode?"

A: Marasmus is a disease of caloric restriction, but you most likely don't have it. Your metabolic rate can definitely slow down during weight loss, but it will never slow to the point where it causes you to gain weight; in this sense, starvation mode is a myth.

Read full answer to "How do I stay out of "starvation mode?""

Q: I have lost significant weight and now have loose skin. How can I tighten up my skin?

Read full answer to "I have lost significant weight and now have loose skin. How can I tighten up my skin?"

Q: Why do my muscles get sore?

Read full answer to "Why do my muscles get sore?"

Q: My muscles are not sore after a workout. Am I working out hard enough?

Read full answer to "My muscles are not sore after a workout. Am I working out hard enough?"

Q: Can hypothyroidism lead to fat gain?

A: Yes, a less active thyroid will reduce metabolic rate and can cause some weight gain. It is not a lot of weight gain though, and a subactive thyroid is not an excuse for obesity (if hypothyroidic, please see a doctor for medication; it burns fat)

Read full answer to "Can hypothyroidism lead to fat gain?"

Q: How do I get a six-pack?

A: You eat less food to reduce body fat. There will be abdominal muscles under the fat, and adding some muscle to this area (resistance training) can make them appear more aesthetic; fat loss is the main predictor, however

Read full answer to "How do I get a six-pack?"

Q: What should I eat for weight loss?

A: When it comes to weight loss, the most important factor is eating less. When you consume less calories than you spend you will lose weight and the diet that helps you lose weight best will be the one that allows you to consume less calories without causing much distress or lethargy.

Read full answer to "What should I eat for weight loss?"

Q: Does resistance training work for the elderly?

Read full answer to "Does resistance training work for the elderly?"

Q: Will my breasts shrink if I lift weights?

Read full answer to "Will my breasts shrink if I lift weights?"

Q: What are the benefits of resistance training?

Read full answer to "What are the benefits of resistance training?"

Q: Is weight lifting bad for kids?

Read full answer to "Is weight lifting bad for kids?"

Q: Will my breasts shrink with weight loss?

Read full answer to "Will my breasts shrink with weight loss?"

Q: Will doing chest exercises make my breasts look "perkier?"

Read full answer to "Will doing chest exercises make my breasts look "perkier?""

Q: I am a female. Will lifting heavy weights make me bulky?

A: While lifting weights will increase muscle, the rate is slow enough and androgens limited enough to not make you appear too 'bulky'.

Read full answer to "I am a female. Will lifting heavy weights make me bulky?"

Q: Does aspartame increase appetite?

Read full answer to "Does aspartame increase appetite?"

Q: How does protein affect weight loss?

Read full answer to "How does protein affect weight loss?"

Q: Does eating at night make it more likely to gain weight?

A: While the evidence is mixed, depending on who was studied and what the diets were, there does not seem to be a major inherent weight-gain effect when eating late at night. Individual results may vary, and other factors such as circadian rhythms should be considered as well.

Read full answer to "Does eating at night make it more likely to gain weight?"

Q: Is my “slow metabolism” stalling my weight loss?

Read full answer to "Is my “slow metabolism” stalling my weight loss?"

Q: Is it really that bad to skip breakfast?

Read full answer to "Is it really that bad to skip breakfast?"

Q: The lowdown on intermittent fasting

A: We analyze the research on intermittent fasting and how it impacts your health.

Read full answer to "The lowdown on intermittent fasting"

Q: How to minimize fat gain during the holidays

A: Holiday season is when most people gain weight (and then struggle to take it off). Overfeeding on protein could be your solution in helping minimize the fat gain.

Read full answer to "How to minimize fat gain during the holidays"

Q: Does high-protein intake help when dieting?

A: We analyze a study which suggests that a higher protein-intake while dieting can help you lose more fat.

Read full answer to "Does high-protein intake help when dieting?"

Q: Detoxes: an undefined scam

A: Detox diets and cleanses promise to 'eliminate harmful toxins' and basically cure what ails you. Yet detox diets are not supported by either toxicological mechanisms or trial evidence, and can occasionally be dangerous.

Read full answer to "Detoxes: an undefined scam"

Q: Whey vs soy protein: which is better when losing weight?

A: Whey protein stimulates muscle protein synthesis rates more than soy protein, but supplementing with ~25 grams per day of either has similar effects on body composition over two weeks of dieting.

Read full answer to "Whey vs soy protein: which is better when losing weight?"

Q: Low-fat vs low-carb? Major study concludes: it doesn’t matter for weight loss

A: A year-long randomized clinical trial has found that a low-fat diet and a low-carb diet produced similar weight loss and improvements in metabolic health markers. Furthermore, insulin production and tested genes had no impact on predicting weight loss success or failure. Thus, you should choose your diet based on personal preferences, health goals, and sustainability.

Read full answer to "Low-fat vs low-carb? Major study concludes: it doesn’t matter for weight loss"

Q: Measuring body fat percentage: It's an accuracy thing

A: Comparing DEXA versus Bod Pod for people with different BMI.

Read full answer to "Measuring body fat percentage: It's an accuracy thing"

Q: How important is sleep?

A: Sleep is incredibly important, and can be considered crucial alongside diet and exercise. Proper sleep habits help sustain many biological processes, and bad sleep can cause these processes to be suboptimal or even malfunction.

Read full answer to "How important is sleep?"

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect weight

Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
All comparative evidence is now gathered in our ​Supplement Goals Reference.
The evidence for each separate supplement is still freely available ​here.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid  
Fish Oil  
Nigella sativa  
Cocoa Extract  
Garcinia cambogia  
Lactobacillus reuteri  
Red Clover Extract  
Vitamin E  
Vitamin K  
Whey Protein  
7-Keto DHEA  
Alpha-Lipoic Acid  
Chlorogenic Acid  
Cissus quadrangularis  
Coleus forskohlii  
Eurycoma Longifolia Jack  
Green Coffee Extract  
Gynostemma pentaphyllum  
Irvingia gabonensis  
Leucic Acid  
Rose Hip  
Anethum graveolens  
Caralluma fimbriata  
Citrullus colocynthis  
D-Aspartic Acid  
Ganoderma lucidum  
Green Tea Catechins  
Hibiscus sabdariffa  
Hoodia gordonii  
Krill Oil  
Lactobacillus casei  
Olive leaf extract  
Panax ginseng  
Punicic Acid  
Rhodiola Rosea  
Royal Jelly  
Stinging Nettle  
Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid  
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)  
Vitamin C  
Vitamin D  
Medium-chain triglycerides  
Black Cohosh  
Safflower Oil  
Sodium Bicarbonate  
Tetradecyl Thioacetic Acid  

Scientific Support & Reference Citations

Via HEM and FAQ:

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