Studies have suggested everything from the obvious (eat healthily and exercise) to the ridiculous (fasting and fad diets) to lose weight. But according to a new study, three simple behaviours will take weight loss to the next level.
The study, published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, examined the effects of self-monitoring, diet-related behaviour and meal patterns on weight change.
They found that women who kept food journals consistently lost 6 pounds more than those who didn’t, that when women skipped meals they lost 8 fewer pounds than those who didn’t, and that women who ate out for lunch at least weekly lost 5 fewer pounds than those who ate out less frequently.
Basically, making simple tweaks to behaviour could make a 20 pound difference to weight.
The most important thing of all?
“For individuals who are trying to lose weight, the No. 1 piece of advice based on these study results would be to keep a food journal to help meet daily calorie goals,’ said Anne McTiernan, the study’s lead researcher, director of the Hutchinson Center’s Prevention Center and a member of its Public Health Sciences Division. ‘It is difficult to make changes to your diet when you are not paying close attention to what you are eating,”
For me, keeping a food journal and not skipping meals would be the easiest’I always have snacks, pens and paper on hand. But not going out for lunch? There are too many delicious (and healthy) options near my office to forgo that indulgence. Maybe I’ll change my mind when the harsh winter weather arrives!
What do you think? Would you keep a food journal, ensure you don’t skip meals and avoid going out for lunch to lose weight?
-Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor