How to Easily Double Your Weight Loss

CoachMel Popular 22 Comments

I often hear people commenting they simply can’t lose weight.

However, a new study indicates that most people can in fact lose weight, if they have access to the right tools and support.

The study, conducted at the Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research, suggests that food journalling, in conjunction with a weight management program, is the ideal combination of tools and support.

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Researchers found that keeping a food diary can double a person’s weight loss. The results are to be published in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Lead author Jack Hollis stated,

“The more food records people kept, the more weight they lost. Those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records. It seems that the simple act of writing down what you eat encourages people to consume fewer calories.”

Study participants followed the DASH diet, which encourages plenty of fruits and vegetables and dairy foods. They also attended weekly group sessions, and exercised at moderately intense levels for at least 30 minutes a day.

After six months, the average weight loss, among the almost 1,700 participants, was approximately 13 pounds.

More than two-thirds of the participants (69%) lost at least nine pounds.

This was enough to reduce their health risks, and qualify for the second phase of the study, which lasted 30 months, and investigated strategies for maintaining the weight loss.

Co-author Victor Stevens said,

“More than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. If we all lost just nine pounds, like the majority of people in this study did, our nation would see vast decreases in hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.”

In an earlier study Stevens found that losing as little as five pounds can reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure by 20%.

If you need more convincing check out the ABC news report on this study.

Weight Loss Accountability

Keeping a record of what you eat is an excellent first step in assessing the quality of what you actually eat, and can give an incite into why you eat the way you do.

It’s important to:

  • Update your diary as you eat – it will be difficult to remember later on.
  • Be specific or be vague – do whatever works for you personally.
  • Stick with it – even though it seems tedious.

Keeping a food diary doesn’t have to be a formal thing. Maybe the simple act of quickly scribbling down what you eat is all that’s necessary.

Try using:

  • Excel spreadsheet
  • Post-It notes
  • White board
  • E-mailing or texting yourself
  • Or visually record your meals using a digital camera

Just remember, it’s more about the process of reflecting on what you eat, than how you choose to record your intake.

Have you tried food journalling? Did you find it useful? I’d love to hear from you!

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Comments 22

  1. Tom

    I think keeping a food diary is one of the best tools when it comes to weight-loss. It makes it easy to look back and convince yourself that you healthily even if you didn’t. A food diary can show when you ate things you shouldn’t have and can help you find out why you might not be meeting your weight loss goals. The accountability that a food diary provides is very helpful.

  2. Ruth

    Old eating habits are really hard to break, and I like the idea of taking photos of your meals. I always have trouble with portion control, and seeing a visual of the full plate might be just the kick I need. I’ve just started following the APO E Gene diet and am finding that its integrative approach to dieting and weight loss is really helping. I’m thinking now that keeping a food diary, especially with photos may help even more.

  3. Fat Butt No More

    The funny thing about diets and weightloss plans are their are so many and all do not work for everyone. The thing that you have to do is to keep trying different plans until you find the one that gets you the results you are looking for.

    The most important thing is to keep on trying and you will find it.

    If you check out enough diet sites you will find certain things that run through all of them and these generally are the things that you use to create your diet foundation.

    I kept on searching until I found one that would allow me to eat whatever I wanted and still get in shape. I also shared this with some other people who thank me daily.

    Keep trying and don’t stop!

    Fat Butt No More’s last blog post..Not So Secret Secrets To Weight Loss But Often Overlooked

  4. Fat Butt No More

    It is always a struggle to get the weight off and then it takes a conscious effort to keep it off.

    Being over weight is an emotionally draining and physically draining situation to be in and many times your struggle is reduced to ridicule and insensitivity.

    The exhilaration you feel when you look back 5 months before you made a conscious effort and see positive results is truly gratifying and often creates wide smiles and happy tears.

    Losing weight can be accomplish but motivation must come from the inside to change the outside.

    You can and will do it, just never give up hope.

    Only give up the pounds and the inches.

    Fat Butt No More

    Fat Butt No More’s last blog post..My Wife Has A Beer Belly-My Husband Is Pregnant

  5. Del-Metri Williams

    With so many diets why are we so fat? There is some good information, but it is being overshadowed by a lot of junk. There is a reason why we fat (fat factors). Most people don’t realize what they are doing to sabatoge their weight loss goals.

    Del-Metri Williams, MBA NC CTLC
    Weight Management Coach
    http://www.smartweightloss4u.com

    Del-Metri Williams’s last blog post..Fat Factor #5 Chronic Stress

  6. Yvette Hancock

    I should know there is great post like this earlier so I can save a lot of time to search, surely bookmark this page, thx!

  7. Melanie

    Hi Del-Metri,
    How do you think people are sabotaging their weight loss goals?

    Hi Yvette,
    I’m glad this was useful to you.

  8. Jen

    Hi Melanie! I have enjoyed looking around your site and have found it very helpful. I have recently started to make healthier decisions in hope to lose 50+ pounds. From trying to lose weight in the past, I have found that I do better when I have a specific diet to follow. A friend suggested that I try weight watchers. I was wondering if you have any opinions about weight watchers, or know of any other healthy eating plans to follow. Any thoughts or ideas would be helpful. Thanks!

    1. Melanie

      Hi Jen,
      I think WW is a good option. It’s definitely one of the best out there, as it’s not faddy at all, and they actually teach you about food and portion control. I suppose the only drawback is that it requires counting points, which isn’t sustainable long-term. But, for the short-term, WW is a really good option, and I think they now have a maintenance plan for when you lose weight, which is a bonus — again a lot of plans don’t have that.

    2. Melanie

      Hi Jen,
      I think WW is a good option. It’s definitely one of the best out there, as it’s not faddy at all, and they actually teach you about food and portion control. I suppose the only drawback is that it requires counting points, which isn’t sustainable long-term. But, for the short-term, WW is a really good option, and I think they now have a maintenance plan for when you lose weight, which is a bonus — again a lot of plans don’t have that.

      If you’ve any other questions just let me know.

  9. Shirley

    Hi, Melanie! It was good for me to be reminded of this simple tool to help lose or control weight. I can assure your other readers that it really does work, because it shocks you when you see your eating habits in black and white and helps you to reflect more and make more responsible choices. This time last year I was doing really well with reducing my weight by writing everything down – it made me much more aware, somehow. I stopped food journaling and the weight has crept on again! QUICK – WHERE’S MY NOTEBOOK????!!!!

    1. Melanie

      Hi Shirley,
      lol, did you find that notebook yet? 🙂 It really is a good tool to use, pity it’s a bit time consuming, but all for a good cause! Good for you for being dedicated to it in the past, and seeing results, that’s encouraging for others to hear too… thank you!

  10. Cardell Media

    Thanks for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such fantastic information being shared freely out there.

  11. Erica

    Hi Melanie,

    You have such a beautiful site. Thank you for providing information that is so practical, sensible and sincerely geared towards losing weight in a way that is sustainable for life.

    Love your tips on chocolate too : )

    Erica

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  14. thanat

    3 simple weight loss keys: track what you eat, track how much you eat and don’t lie to yourself about it. The last one may be the most difficult one to follow.

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