So it’s the New Year and on the top
of everyone’s resolution list is weight loss. However, many years people try and fail for reasons such as
time consuming, hard to stick
with, etc. Well, research shows
that the best diet is as easy as taking out the pen and paper. In a recent study in the August issue
of American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 1700 participants implemented a
healthy diet and exercise program.
Two thirds of the study participants lost 9 lb or more during 6
months. But those participants who
food journaled in addition, lost up to 20 lbs, doubling their wt loss in
comparison to the other participants.
One of the participants named Julie Satterwhite admitted to yo-yo
dieting and trying every fad diet on the market. She credits food journaling to losing 30 lbs during the
study, cutting the dosage of her cholesterol medicine in half, improving her
arthritis, and losing another 25 lb after the study was complete.
Food diaries help in many
ways. One, it makes you think twice
about eating foods since you have to write it down. Two, it may help you to make healthier choices and eat
appropriate portion sizes. Three,
it also helps you see if you are eating out of boredom or stress! Many people admit this is the main
issue when it comes to overeating.
I recommend all my clients to food journal. It is great because it doesn’t limit you to any foods and
fits in everyone’s lifestyle. You
can eat out, go to family gatherings, etc. In addition to food journaling, counting calories as you go
can be extremely effective. It
teaches you how many calories are in certain foods, what an appropriate portion
size is, and, probably most important, it teaches you a balance between weight
management and how to live a normal lifestyle. This is the main principle why other diets fail and are hard
to stick with overtime. Now, writing down everything you eat and finding
calories may seem tedious, but it is not as hard as it seems. There are many different ways to achieve
it. First, you can do it the old
fashion way with pen and paper.
Carry a small notebook with you that can fit in you purse or car, that
way it is always with you. Use the
internet or purchase a book with calorie contents to make it easier. Second, if you are efficient with the
computer, there are many free websites out there for you to use. You can log your food diary online and
it automatically calculates your calories for you. You can Google “food calorie calculators” and a variety of
websites will come up. Choose whichever
is easiest for you and your lifestyle.
My personal favorite is livestrong.com. It is user friendly and has a wide variety of name brand
foods. iPhone even has a Livestrong
app so you can keep track on the go!
My clients love this app!
As well as LoseIt! Happy
Estelle L. Benoit, RD, LDN