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Write Off the Extra Weight

Write Off the Extra Weight

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?
 

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  • Minni436 By Minni436
    12.17.08  

    Keeping a food diary is a good way to track what is being eaten. It is there in writing and cannot be denied. If you are trying to keep track in your head it is easy to forget about somethings. It is a good way to keep yourself honest.

  • am_i_lost By am_i_lost
    12.17.08  

    I've tried it before and it does work. But they are a lot or "work". You really have to stick to it like you would any diet. What I have found also really works for me with snacks is to get a small bowl or plate and just a few in it not take the whole box or bag along. I'm willing to try about anything to shed a few pounds...lol..and be healthy too!! Great!

  • natcoleandliamsmom By natcoleandliamsmom
    12.17.08  

    I have found that keeping a food diary has helped me not only keep track of what I shouldn't be eating, but also the foods that I should be eating (dairy, vitamins, water, veggies, fruits, etc.).

  • jenndta69 By jenndta69
    12.18.08  

    Keeping a diary does work. Three years ago, I lost about 75 pounds. I have managed to keep most of it off. Over the last year I have had two knee surgeries (one a complete replacement) so I gained I few pounds. For me, I have found if I just jot down quickly what I'm eating and how many calories the food is, I am dropping the weight again. It's easier when you actually know what your putting in your mouth. At the very least, you think twice before you eat something you should not eat. Good luck all and happy holidays...Watch the cookies, LOL

  • 4roosters By 4roosters
    12.18.08  

    This truly works. The hardest part is being honest with yourself and writing down every thing that goes into your mouth. It keeps you on track of what you should eat and how much naughty things you ate. I believe its OK to have a sinful snack now and then but this is a good way of telling yourself you had enough. In 3 months I lost 20 pounds.

  • sarahresch By sarahresch
    12.18.08  

    fitday.com is a great site to keep track of your eating habits. it's a great accountability partner.

  • angelger28 By angelger28
    12.20.08  

    Writing it down doesn't work for me. I've put in the effort. I've been writing down what I eat for months and it doesn't stop me from returning to the kitchen. I go one step further and write my mood and times down as well. I'm a nursing mother and have a huge appetite but I don't need to eat as much as I do, I just feel famished all the time. I'm about 15 lbs overweight. It'll probably drop off when I wean my son. I hope so. I plan to continue to write in my food journal, it's become a habit. Maybe one day I'll figure out some self-control.

  • abigirl By abigirl
    12.22.08  

    I think writing is a good tool for weight loss. I have tried paper and pencil journals and a variety of online tools. I'm not sure which is the best for me. There was another study recently that showed people who took photos of their meals lost more weight than traditional written diaries. It seems that the underlying idea of either of these strategies is to pay attention to what you are eating and not just munch mindlessly.

  • ambulars By ambulars
    12.26.08  

    i really agree with, this . its all about accountably. the more the better.

  • MaurChclt By MaurChclt
    12.26.08  

    This is exactly what Weight Watchers recommends and has for years and it works!!

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