They say the pen is mightier than the sword. For dieters, it now appears the pen can be mightier than pills or surgery to help you lose twice the weight!
No, you don't eat the pen. You use it to journal every last bite you eat during a given day.
It's called food journaling and it doesn't take a doctor's prescription or a major life-changing commitment from you.
A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that keeping a "food diary" can double your weight loss.
Researchers from Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research kept tabs on 1,685 overweight and obese adults (men and women), whose average weight was 212 pounds. The researchers encouraged participants to adhere to a reduced-calorie regimen and asked them to record their daily food intake and exercise minutes.
The amazing bottom line: the more participants recorded what they ate, the more weight they lost in the end!
Participants who did not keep a food diary only lost about 9 pounds; the food journalists dropped a super 18 pounds. And yes, my 3rd grade math tells me food diary users lost twice as much as those who didn't track their food.
Study co-author Dr. Victor J. Stevens, a senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, in Portland, Oregon says, "It's not fun to write down what you eat; it just works."
In the study, 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.
"The more food records they kept, the more they lost," Dr. Stevens says. "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."
"A food diary makes you accountable to yourself."
Heck, if being accountable means my new weight loss plan will work twice as well, sign me up!
Without a food diary, I am down about 30 pounds. Just think where I'd be if I were keeping track of everything that goes into my mouth!
Author: John McGran