Studies show that using this to lose weight is essential
I ferociously read fascinating studies on weight loss, and I love to apply them back to my own experiences to see if they have some backing. Back when I was bodybuilding, it was super important to monitor my exercises, the sets, reps, the kinds of food I ate, and how much. This was a crucial key factor that contributed to changing my body shape. Writing things down helped keep me accountable, and it also helped me instil fear because if my trainer saw something off — he would have undoubtedly called me out on it. I believe my fear came from utter embarrassment. What was the point in going to all this trouble if I was not going to pull my own socks up and do the hard work? It did make a difference — you can’t hide! A controlled trial compared different diets and found that restricting total calories is more important than the type of diet — for instance, low carb or high protein. This particular study aimed to identify specific behaviours that helped support the goal to reduce calories.
Anne McTiernan MD and colleagues conducted this study, and they discovered that
- Women who skipped meals lost almost eight fewer pounds than women who did not.
- Women that kept a food journal consistently lost 6 pounds more than those who did not.
- Women that ate lunch out regularly lost five fewer pounds than those who ate out less often.
Anne McTiernan says: “For those women trying to lose weight, the number one piece of advice based on these observations would be to keep a food journal.This helps to meet caloric needs, as it’s challenging to make the necessary changes when you aren’t paying close attention to what you are eating.”
Participants in keeping a food journal specified the following tips.
- Use complete honesty — write it all down
- Measure portions and always read labels
- Carry your diary with you everywhere, or use an equivalent app on your phone or device
- Mention how the food was prepared (fried, boiled, baked etc.)
- Always write down what toppings you included (sauces etc.)
The participants were given a printed booklet to monitor their food intake during this study. But, in all honesty, it doesn’t have to be anything super fancy. You could easily integrate this into your yearly journal or a small notepad that can easily fit into your bag. Personally, I prefer an app that you can easily pop open or scan QR codes and food labels. Whatever makes it easier and faster — I’m all in. If you are interested, this study was based on 123 overweight to obese sedentary women aged between 50 and 75. This study was about a year in length. Participants used simple tools such as writing down their food intake, eating out less & eating regularly, which allowed them to lose 10 per cent of their starting weight. Sometimes simplicity can provide a great starting point for weight loss success.
Eating out more often was associated with less weight loss. This is logical, given we don’t know what’s actually in the food — plus, it’s tough NOT to eat the portion sizes you are given. My workplace served a buffet lunch today. Thankfully, the vegan alternatives were relatively minimal, but I put too many baked potatoes on my plate. Doing this once in a while isn’t a big deal, as I always have my lunch handy every day. But eating like this more than three times a week will aid in weight gain. Although this study mentioned that skipping meals and fasting add to eating more later on — I beg to differ. Although anyone can become susceptible to eating more when skipping a meal, if you always have a meal on hand, with accurate portions and calories — you won’t have a problem with overeating.
The success for those who lost weight was the following:
- Keeping a food diary
- Eating out less often
- Preparing your meals
If you are experiencing a weight loss plateau or struggling to monitor your food, try these three alternatives and discover what they can do for you. To read the complete study, feel free to view this material here. (you will need a google mail account for this).
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