Write Off the Extra Weight

   By drodriguez  Dec 17, 2008

Here come the holidays, which means here come the cookies, cakes, and all other things decadently dangerous.  If you are worried about putting on extra pounds this season you may want to check out a new study recently published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. 

The new research has proven that people who keep diaries describing their daily food intake lost more weight than those who did not.  The study followed almost 1,700 overweight and obese adult men and women throughout the country.  All of the subjects were encouraged to limit their caloric intake, take part in weekly group sessions, exercise, and keep a food journal. 

The senior investigator of the study, Victor Stevens was recently featured in a Time Magazine article about the study.  He reported, “Hands down, the most successful weight-loss measure was keeping a record of what you eat.”

The study, which spanned a six-month period, showed that participants who kept a food diary between 6 and 7 days a week lost on average 18 pounds.  This was double what non-diary keepers lost.

The concept of losing more weight by keeping track of exactly what you ingest all day makes sense.  It can really make a person think about the amount of food they eat and whether most of it is actually good for them.  It can also make a person more conscious of the labels on the back of the package detailing the fat and cholesterol count.  And, at the end of the day you are well aware that you will have to face the truth staring back at you in that journal.  Stevens talks about how a person may think about eating that extra cookie “but you didn’t want it to show up on the diary at the end of the day.”

What do you think about keeping a food journal as a way to stay healthy?

Is this something you might consider trying to keep the extra holiday weight off?

Make a Comment

JoyHappy by JoyHappy | Redmond, OR
Jul 01, 2009

I am going to start a food diary right now. Starting today 7/1/09. Should i try to track calories too or just what i ate and drank? Let me know what anyone thinks about that. I have tried it before but then i give up on it on weekends or whatever when im home with my husband but its worth tring again.

aMUSEme by aMUSEme | Fort Worth, TX
Jun 03, 2009

I've been a member of Weight Watchers for 2 years now and it highly emphasizes writing down everything. I lost 30lbs in 4 months and kept it off for a year. Then, I stopped writing things down and gained about 15lbs back. Now, I'm journaling like a maniac to get it back off!

piscesgrly2 by piscesgrly2 | GALT, CA
May 30, 2009

I have an Ipod touch, which you can take notes on. It makes writing down what you eat, easy. I heard that people also lost weight by taking pictures of `what they ate with their phone.

grayce by grayce | SPRING HILL, TN
Mar 26, 2009

My memory is so bad I can't keep up with a food diary. I need to though, it seems like it helps. I like the cell phone note section idea too!!

ljamason by ljamason | ONEIDA, TN
Mar 12, 2009

I have kept a food journal for the past two months and have lost 20lbs and 24inches...totally worth it!

weezer05 by weezer05 | Tonawanda, NY
Feb 19, 2009

I've done this in the past and it really helped me. I could see what I needed to cut back on and what needed improvement.

heavenlyhelper by heavenlyhelper | knox, IN
Feb 04, 2009

Does your cell phone have a note section? If so...or em it to your email from your cell. I am going use the small notebook method ( mentioned) in my pocket or purse. Just a thought. I am willing to try all suggestions.

salome by salome | Houston, TX
Feb 03, 2009

I'm sure it helps, but it's a little embarrasing to do in public when you're always eating lunch and dinner with your co-workers. If there were a cell-phone program on this, I woudl actually give it a go.

slssrs1 by slssrs1 | NASHVILLE, TN
Feb 01, 2009

I did this when I was on weight watchers and it helped When I would look at all I ate in one day, I was surprised. My mother did it when she was working out with a personal trainer. it kept her from eating bad foods because she didn't want to get in trouble when she had to turn it in to her trainer.

ppj927 by ppj927 | Antelope, CA
Jan 27, 2009

I guess if I kept a little notebook with me in a pocket or around my neck at home it would work for me. Otherwise I would forget those little quick bites that are my downfall.

anu_p_pai by anu_p_pai | pittsburgh, PA
Jan 23, 2009

I just started to write a food diary and man it really helps , within a week i can make out the diff, eventhough i feel am eating less, but when i look at the diary am eating normally within my daily limit, and am feeling good about myself!!!

CaseyDeuce by CaseyDeuce | TIVOLI, NY
Jan 22, 2009

I used a food journal once while dieting and I saw more success than when I didnt. But with 2 small kids its been really hard to me to attempt it again. I may try in the future to food journal!!

proudtxmomof3 by proudtxmomof3 | Waxahachie, TX
Jan 19, 2009

Hmmm I will need to try this!

mscreneet by mscreneet | Douglasville, GA
Jan 19, 2009

Food diaries are great.....remembering to enter the food that youve eaten into it is the problem. Every few month I say "im gonna try this again" It normally last about 2 weeks or so, than I fall off the ban wagon. This post just motivated me to give it another try!

Texmel by Texmel | COLORADO SPGS, CO
Jan 17, 2009

What a great idea! I am writing this after the holidays---and I have a good 15 pounds that I would like to lose. I think I will try this! We are on a stricter budget now than ever before and I am keeping a list of all our expeditures weekly, which is amazing in helping us stay on budget. This will just be an easy addition to my list, a few pages over! (Yes, I am still using a day timer, not a Blackberry! :)