If you want to lose weight, you will need two essential tools: a pen and some paper. Carefully documenting everything you eat and drink can result in double the weight loss you’d experience with diet and lifestyle changes alone.
Researchers followed nearly 1,700 middle-aged study volunteers for six months. The participants were instructed to exercise more, attend group meetings, reduce their fat intake, and eat more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. They were also asked to keep food diaries.
Average weight loss for the whole group was about 13 pounds. But, those people who wrote down what they were eating every day lost 18 pounds compared to their “non-journaling” counterparts’ nine pounds. This makes perfect sense.
Being forced to admit to yourself that you really did eat that entire tub of ice cream or indulge in snacks all day is often incentive enough to keep you from repeating similar indiscretions. If you’re having trouble with your weight, try keeping a food diary.