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July 14, 2008

Dieters That Journal Food Lose More Weight

I often get strange looks when I suggest that my clients journal their food. They kind of scoff at me, like I am telling them to take part in some ultra nerdy activity. Well, once again, there is a study that shows that journaling what you eat helps when dieting. It keeps you honest and aware of what you are eating. When you don’t write it down, it is so easy to fool yourself into thinking that you are doing a great dieting job.

I hear it all of the time. “I wasn’t that bad” or “I didn’t have that much”. The problem is that you were that “bad” and you did have a lot more than you thought you did. When you are eating throughout the day and not writing down what you are eating, it is hard to tell exactly what you are getting. Holding yourself accountable for what you are eating is the best policing system you can have.

So how much of a difference does writing down what you eat make? Well, in the study that included 1,685 middle aged men and women, those that kept a food diary lost half as much weight as those that did not. The median age for those in the study was 55 and people from four different cities were used in the study. The group that regularly kept a food diary lost 18 pounds while those that did not, lost 9 pounds.

My weight loss clients that have done the best have kept a food diary. Knowing what you are eating, how many calories you are getting and how many times you eat in a day is vital to the weight loss process. By writing down everything that you eat you can also ensure that you get all of the fruits, vegetables and other nutrients that you need in a day. You will also be able to track down those extra calories that sneak into your day when mindless snacking goes on. Snacking can be so routine that you don’t even notice it. When writing down your food you will notice when you reach into the cookie jar because you will be writing down everything that you eat.

If you are not good at keeping a journal of any kind, the researchers that performed this study suggest simplifying the food journal concept. WE are always on the computer or text messaging or storing info in our blackberry. If you want to lose more weight, start text messaging yourself what you ate at lunch. E-mail yourself the details of your midnight snacks. Keep a food diary when you are on vacation in that ridiculous blackberry that has come to regulate your life.

At the end of the day, if you want to lose weight you are going to have to work for it. You will need to increase your fruit, whole grain and vegetable intake and cut down on fats. You will also need to start some type of exercise regiment, most people in this study walked, and if you want to lose more weight, journal your food.

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1 Comment(s)

  1. Food Diary | Jul 15, 2008 | Reply

    Food diaries really do work, and there are some good ones online that make it really easy. NutriMirror.com is nice and free.

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