Weight-Loss Techniques That Work
Keep a food journal. Don’t skip meals, but do skip your afternoon lunch dates. Those recommendations come from research published Friday in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center evaluated the impact of self-monitoring and diet-related behavior and patterns among overweight and obese post-menopausal women. Among the 123 women who participated in the study, they found that those who completed food journals lost about six more pounds than those who did not note their food intake. Women who skipped meals lost eight fewer pounds than those who did not miss meals, and those who ate lunch out at least once a week lost five fewer pounds than those who ate out less frequently.
Dr. Anne McTiernan, lead author of the study and professor of epidemiology at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, said losing weight is really just about “accountability, knowing what you’re eating and how much, and how that all adds up compared with your calorie goal for losing weight.”
It’s difficult to change a diet if dieters are not paying close attention to what they are eating, researchers said.
“The food journal helps you keep track, in real time, of what you are eating,” said McTiernan. “Restaurant eating, on the other hand, makes it difficult to know what you are eating, and the serving sizes are often large enough for several people. So, it’s difficult to keep an account of what you eat if you don’t know what’s going into the food.”
The biggest obstacle in losing weight is setting unrealistic goals, McTiernan said.