You hear all the time that to lose weight, you should track what you eat. Well, a 2008 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that keeping a "food diary" may double your weight loss efforts.|
Researchers from Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research kept tabs on 1,685 overweight and obese adults (men and women), whose average weight was 212 pounds. The researchers encouraged participants to adhere to a reduced-calorie, DASH eating plan and asked them record their daily food intake and exercise minutes.
After 20 weeks, the average weight loss was 13 pounds per person. But researchers discovered something else; the more participants recorded what they ate, the more weight they lost in the end. Participants who did not keep a food diary lost about 9 pounds over the course of the study, while those who recorded their food intake six or more days per week lost 18 pounds—twice as much as those who didn't track any food!
Action Sparked: If you've ever doubted that using SparkPeople's personalized Nutrition Tracker would help you lose weight, think again! At SparkPeople, we've always encouraged daily food and fitness tracking for people who want to lose weight, and this new study supports what we've been encouraging for years. By tracking your food, you become more accountable: If you know you're going to have to record that candy bar on your food tracker, you might think twice before eating it. Plus, SparkPeople's detailed food tracker shows you exactly what you're putting into your mouth so you can make better, more informed choices.
This isn't news to the millions of people who have lost weight by tracking their food and fitness minutes on SparkPeople.com. Each month, over five million people utilize SparkPeople's free tools, Community, and resources to get healthier. And every day, our members track more than one million foods on their free Nutrition Trackers, making SparkPeople.com's food tracker the most popular in the world! It works away from home, too: SparkPeople's Nutrition Trackers is available on web-enabled cell phones.
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