With the growing obesity epidemic, Americans are searching for ways to successfully lose weight. But research shows that keeping a food diary may help you lose as much as twice the amount of weight. Is it a new magic pill? Well, it’s really an old magic pill.
The benefit of keeping a food diary- or basically writing down what you eat has been known for a long time. A study was done by researchers at Kaiser Permanente. The study followed 1,700 men and women who were either overweight or obese. The people were encouraged to eat about 500 fewer calories a day, to exercise daily, and to follow a low-fat, low-sodium diet participants were asked to record daily food intake and their exercise minutes.
After 20 weeks, the total average loss was about 13 pounds, but the food record habit predicted success. Those who kept no food records lost about 9 pounds, those who kept six or more per week lost about 18 pounds. Food diaries predicted success.
Many people see a food diary as one extra thing they have to do, but as the findings from this study show, it can have a very powerful impact. Keeping a food diary does not have to be time consuming or complicated. Here are some simple steps to keep in mind.
On a sheet of paper or in a notebook, write down what you ate, where you were, what time it was, what you were doing, and what your mood was.
Be sure and record as you go along—don’t try to rely on memory at the end of the day- it will ruin the results
Post your food diary where you can see it (on the refrigerator or on a mirror).
Keep it up for a couple of weeks and review the diary. You’ll notice that you are eating less “bad” food and more “good” food.
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