Scientists have known for years that there is one single best predictor of success among people trying to lose weight.
It’s not type of diet they do…
Or whether they cut carbs or fat…
Or what time of day they eat…
Or what exercise they do or what supplements they take.
Scientists Swear by This Weight Loss Strategy
People who lose the most weight keep track of what they eat.
Although it sounds unpleasant and time consuming to log everything you eat, a major study shows it’s far easier than you think.
The research was done at the University of Vermont and the University of South Carolina.
Professor Jean Harvey was lead author. She noted that people generally hate diet self-monitoring. “They think it’s onerous and awful,” she said.
The study included 142 people who wanted to lose weight. The subjects were asked to use an online program to log everything they ate.
After six months, the most successful dieters in the study lost at least 10% of their body weight. So a 200-pound man would have lost at least 20 pounds, a great result by any measure.
Professor Harvey said dieters “who self-monitored three or more times a day and were consistent day after day” were the most successful.
And these successful dieters did not find it time consuming to track what they ate. It took them an average of 23 minutes at day at first. But by the end of the study, it took less than 15 minutes.
Another study, this one from Duke University, had similar results. It found that people who used a phone app to log their food consumption lost more weight than others—and kept it off longer.
The bottom line?
Keeping a daily diet log is a powerful weight loss tool. And it takes less time than you think.
Log in for Optimal Weight Loss
Excellent free diet-logging apps include FatSecret, MyFitnessPal, Lose It!, and Yazio.
There are also websites that provide the same service. Free ones include Cron-o-meter and SparkPeople.
If you want to go the low-tech route, simply write down what you eat in a notebook.
Whether you track what you eat with a device or with paper and pencil, a food diary should include:
- How much you ate measured in ounces or number of items (five tortilla chips, for instance).
- The type of food.
- What time you ate.
Use whatever diet and exercise program you want, but know this… Keeping track of what you eat is a powerful weapon for weight loss.
Editor’s Note: The key to lasting weight loss is not what goes into your stomach…but what’s happening in your head. Read our monthly journal Independent Healing to discover how two hormones can help you lose weight and keep it off for the rest of your life. Go HERE to find out more.
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