By SALLY SQUIRES Washington Post
A new study suggests that a piece of paper – and the willingness to use it – could be what stands between you and a healthier weight. That's one conclusion from a report released today.
A team of scientists at Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore., recruited 1,685 men and women, ages 25 and older, to participate. All were overweight or obese and had high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol.
"There is a common myth that most people have trouble losing weight and can't lose enough weight to make a difference," said Victor J. Stevens, senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente and a co-author of the study, which was supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. "This study demonstrated that most people can."
About two-thirds of participants lost weight, shedding on average 12 pounds – far less than what most dieters dream, but enough to significantly reduce their blood pressure and cholesterol.
What helped was attendance at weekly group meetings on nutrition and behavior change, and keeping a daily written record of food and activity.
"This is pretty simple," Mr. Stevens said. "It doesn't have to be high-tech." By tracking how much food they ate, participants were more likely to eat less.
Participants said that they hated the record-keeping, but it worked.
Some record-keepers are using online systems that do the math for them. One is $55 for a year's membership, but there are other sites with calorie counters that are free: fitday.com , mypyramidtracker.gov, nutritiondata.com, sparkpeople.com.
We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.
| current weight: 275.0