By Dr. Rick Tague
Keep on Track with Food Journaling
In a recent study by Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, it was shown that participants who kept food journals lost almost double the weight of those who didn’t!
The study included 1,500 overweight and obese adults. Participants were educated on lifestyle interventions, which included weekly group sessions, regular exercise, a heart-healthy diet, reduced alcohol consumption and the use of food diaries. After 5 months, average weight loss was almost 13 pounds. However, those who used a food diary more than 5 days a week lost almost twice as much weight. And, they kept their weight off better than the group who didn’t journal.
“It enabled me to see how much of an impact it made with even just a slight change in your diet, such as having a bowl of ice cream or a fast-food cheeseburger, ” one participant said. “That can really skew your calorie intake.”
Why do diaries work you wonder? Experts conclude that the ultimate value lies in the formation of a “foundation of personal accountability.” Accountability is the most important ingredient behind any successful lifestyle change, including weight loss and management. Food diaries force an increased awareness of habits and eating patterns. The visual accountability can highlight pitfalls that may have previously gone unnoticed by a dieter. In addition, when your clinician reviews your diary, they can often point out problematic cues, triggers and habits that may be contributing to your weight gain. This can allow for targeted problem solving and solutions being developed to get the dieter back on track.
Looking for a easy to use and effective food journal? Log in to the Center for Nutrition Diet Journal TODAY and begin journaling your diet for long-term success!