Food Diaries Improve Weight Loss Outcomes

Filed Under: Weight Loss
Last Reviewed 04/17/2014

One of the most important things you can do to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes—as well as many of its complications—is to maintain a healthy weight.

Now, I’ll be the first to say that there are no “magic bullets” when it comes to weight loss. But there are some things you can do to improve your odds for success. Here’s one: keep a food diary. 

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 an average of 18 pounds, whereas their “non-journaling” counterparts lost an average of 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 need to lose weight in order to manage diabetes, try this simple tip—and let me know how it works for you.

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