It’s January and usually at this time of year I’d be moaning about all of the extra pounds I’ve piled on over Christmas, but with Covid 19 still around and all of us in lock-down situations again, the pounds have been piling on all year.
So it’s good to have a reminder why keeping our food diary is so important.
This research proves what we have always said, that keeping
a food diary is the best way to lose weight, but not only that, monitoring your
food intake will also improve overall health.
Poor nutrition and obesity is linked to chronic diseases
including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and
The research shows that
monitoring calorie and fat intake is the best way to lose weight, but it is
viewed as so unpleasant and time consuming that many would be weight losers
don’t have the will power to do it.
After 6 months of an online behavioural weight loss
programme, researchers at the University of Vermont and the University of
Southern Carolina found that the most successful participants, losing 10% of
their body weight, spend an average of just 14.6 minutes per day recording
“People hate it; they think it's onerous and awful, but the
question we had was: How much time does dietary self-monitoring really
take?" said Jean Harvey, chair of the Nutrition and Food Sciences
Department at the University of Vermont and the lead author of the study.
"The answer is, not very much."
What was most predictive of weight-loss success was not the time spent monitoring – those who took more time and included more detail did not have better outcomes – but the frequency of log-ins, confirming the conclusions of earlier studies.
“Those who self-monitored three or more time per day, and were consistent day after day, were the most successful,” Harvey said. “It seems to be the act of self-monitoring itself that makes the difference – not the time spent or the details included.”
Harvey attributes the decrease in time needed for self-monitoring to participants’ increasing efficiency in recording data and to the web program’s progressive ability to complete words and phrases automatically after just a few letters were entered.
The study's most important contribution, Harvey said, may be in helping prospective weight-losers set behavioral targets.
“We know people do better when they have the right expectations,” Harvey said. “We've been able to tell them that they should exercise 200 minutes per week. But when we asked them to write down all their foods, we could never say how long it would take. Now we can.”
With online dietary monitoring Harvey hopes the study results motivate more people to adopt dietary self-monitoring as a weight-loss strategy.
Online food diary
That’s where we come in..
With the CheckYourFood online food diary it couldn’t be
easier to record your food intake. And not only will you see the calories and
fat intake, but all the nutrients so you can also see just how healthy your diet
is as well!
So, what are you waiting for sigh up for your Free for Life account
now using the link below.
I'm our communications and marketing person, dealing with social media and copywriting. I also work with Matt and Ric overseeing the design and strategic management of the site.
I'm also the author of the Eva the Hungry Amoeba children's book series (only one so far). You can find it on Amazon.
My favourite foods, shepherds pie and smoked haddock!