Let’s admit it, many of us have tried the ‘tested’ formula of healthy food and exercise but failed to achieve our dream fitness goals. You see no amount of conviction at the gym or a nutritional diet can come to your aid, if you’re not keeping an eye on your efforts per se. In fact, there is a chance that you might be overdoing the unnecessary things, and that is why you haven’t been able to shed those extra kilos.
So, now the question stands – Is there any way to reduce the effort put into losing weight and still double the results? A US-based study has found a method that could help you lose weight twice as fast than any diet and exercise combo. So, yes there is!
It appears that the secret doesn’t really lie in changing your diet or lifestyle (as is preached); rather, it is about picking up a very basic habit – maintaining a food diary. According to a study published by Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research, maintaining a food diary or a journal is a highly effective method for weight loss.
What Does The Study Say?
The Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research at Portland conducted one of the largest and longest weight loss trials with nearly 1,700 participants; majority of whom were African Americans (44 per cent to be precise). African Americans are at a higher risk of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, overweight and heart problem. And, according to the World Health Organisation, over 80 million people in India will have diabetes by 2030. Furthermore, several researchers have concluded that diabetes and heart disease are linked by the same genes.
During the study, participants were asked to maintain a food diary in addition to their regular diet and exercise (at least 30 minutes a day). At the end of six months, it was found that more than two-third of the participants lost an average of at least five kilos.
According to Victor Stevens, a Kaiser Permanente researcher and the study co-author, “More than two-third Americans – are either overweight or obese.” He added, “If we all lost just nine pounds, like the majority of people in this study did, we would see vast decreases in hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.”
Does It Really Work?
Jack Hollis, the lead author and researcher at Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research, concluded, “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.”
Keeping and maintaining a food diary can be a real eye opener. You don’t need to go crazy counting calories, but simply keep a track of everything (even the smallest snack) you eat or drink throughout the day. The idea behind a food diary is simple - being aware of your own food intake is healthier than blindly following someone else’s advice.
You could also use the numerous food diary apps to streamline your dietary intake. So start journaling now and get closer to your dream physique!