Writing down what you eat in a food diary every day can help you lose twice as much weight as skipping that step, according to a study by Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research.The study underscores the importance — and effectiveness — of keeping a food diary.
Nearly 1,700 people took part in the study. They were asked to keep food diaries and turn them in at weekly support meetings led by nutritionists and behavior counselors. They were given a goal of losing at least 9 pounds in six months by eating about 500 fewer calories a day, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and exercising at least 30 minutes a day.
At the end of the study, more than two-thirds of the participants had lost at least 9 pounds. But those who kept their food diary at least six days a week, lost an average of about 18 pounds in six months.
Even Small Losses Equal Big Benefits
That weight loss has big effects on health. Even 5-10 pounds can reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure by 20 percent.
Food diaries hold you accountable and help you become more aware of eating habits. They can also help pinpoint where extra calories are coming from. Sometimes we tend to underestimate how much we eat. But factoring in that handful of chips here, bites of brownies there, plus calorie-laden drinks can be eye-opening!
So pull out that pen, start tracking every bite and watch the pounds disappear.
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