Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Keep a Food Diary, Lose Twice as Much Weight

“Keeping tabs on what you eat with a food diary can double your weight loss, a new study shows. While the idea of food diaries has been around a long time, this latest research offers more proof they help you shed more poundage, said study co-author Dr. Victor J. Stevens, a senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, in Portland, Ore.‘It's not fun to write down what you eat; it just works,’ he said. In the study, which is in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, they followed almost 1,700 men and women who were either overweight or obese. The average weight was 212 pounds. The participants attended 20 weekly group meetings and were encouraged to eat about 500 fewer calories a day, to engage in moderate intensity physical activity 30 minutes or more a day, and to follow the low-fat, low-sodium DASH dietary plan, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods. Participants were asked to record daily food intake and their exercise minutes. After 20 weeks, the total average loss was about 13 pounds, Stevens said. But the food record habit predicted success. ‘The more food records they kept, the more they lost,’ he said. ‘Those who kept no food records lost about 9 pounds, and those who kept six or more per week lost about 18 pounds. That's a whopping difference.’”


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