Write away the weight – double your weight loss

August 20, 2008 by  
Filed under Diets, featured, Food & Nutrition, Lifestyle

Those of you who have ever been to one of my talks know how important I think it is to have a daily writing habit. Statistically, those who keep a daily journal have better emotional and mental health and it has become a favourite tool for self-help in hospitals and support groups. Now it seems it can also help you to almost double your weight loss.

A recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reported on a 20 week study of 1,700 overweight or obese men and women who went through a comprehensive regime weekly group meetings, recommended daily reduction of 500 calories, 30 or more minutes of daily moderate intensity exercise, following the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), and daily journal entries of how much they ate and how long they exercised. Generally, their average weight loss was just under a stone, but the more that they wrote in their journals, the more weight they lost – about twice as much as those who did not maintain records.

The idea is a simple one: by keeping a simple food diary, you realistically become more aware of how much you are eating and that helps you take control of your diet. It doesn’t matter whether you record in a book, or a computer – just make sure you enter every mouthful from the one chocolate biscuit to the sensible salad you had for lunch. Personally, I also think it helps to write a ‘mood’ section as well to show how your feel after particular foods or whether a specific mood or habit jogs you towards unhealthy eating. Whatever method you choose, just be consistent with it and you will soon see results.