The results of a study by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have just been published in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Journal with regard to advice on effective and sustained weight loss. The main conclusions of the study are that keeping a journal of your eating habits is an effective way of sticking to your program. A journal also allows for easy calculations to be made as to total calories and carbohydrates consumed per day. Overweight people are usually surprised how many calories they consume. It’s important to be honest with yourself when keeping a diary and to note every morsel of food that goes in your mouth. People often tend to discount snacks between meals and some even forget just how much they ate. A single snack may not make a difference but they quickly add up.
In addition to record keeping, the study advises against skipping meals as this encourages increased food intake at fewer intervals throughout the day. The study also indicated that eating at restaurants causes weight gain as you tend to eat more than you would at home, due to the large portions served in American restaurants and not being aware of the ingredients, as you would be in your own kitchen. You don’t know if they used butter or virgin olive oil, or just how much flour and sugar is in your meal. At home you can carefully monitor your daily intake.
Keeping a food diary is a way of shaming yourself into shape. If you can see in black and white just how disgusting you are then this is likely to cause a change in behaviour. A similar approach involves showing obese patients a day’s worth of their food intake on a table. This often results in revulsion and a desire to become healthier.