If you're among the 66 percent of Americans who are overweight or obese, it can be especially frustrating when those extra pounds ever-so-slowly creep away, rather than speedily disappear.
Annoying, isn't it, when you want a hot Hollywood beach body in time for summer?
Even worse, isn't it especially irksome and perplexing when you're doing everything right and yet you stay at the same darn weight no matter how well you eat and how much you exercise?
Wouldn't it be cool if you knew one very simple trick -- other than cutting back on sugar and refined carbs -- to accelerate weight loss?
It's simple: Keep a food journal!
In other words, watch yourself like a lab rat and track every single morsel that goes into your mouth.
Remember, that includes monitoring all drinks you mindlessly gulp and guzzle, too. (So you'll be writing about that glass of wine or small glass of soda that you absolutely "need" when you're wiped out at the end of a long day.)
But here's the good news! If you track everything that goes into your mouth, you can have double the weight loss of your friends and family members who don't write down their food intake. Cool, eh?
In fact, those were the findings of a large study, the Weight Loss Maintenance (WLM) trial, which I wrote about here previously.
You'll want to pay attention to what author Dr Jack Hollis, a researcher at Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon, whose findings were reported in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, said of his research:
"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."
See what Medical News Today and MSNBC said about the landmark study.
You can learn more about the food diary approach from this other Sugar Shock Blog post and also at this website about The Pen and Paper Diet by Michael Dow. (You can get the book here. FYI, please note that while I applaud this write-it-down approach, I disagree with the "eat-whatever-you-want" advice, because thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of medical studies show that you're more healthy if you steer clear of those culprit carbs -- i.e., white bread, French rolls, white pasta, processed crackers, etc.)
Incidentally, I need to thank Stephanie Snipes, an Oprah.com senior content producer for reminding me about the value of food journaling and inspiring today's post.
You see, Stephanie -- who recently began an honest, reflective and humorous-at-times Oprah.com blog, "A Foodie's Guide to Getting Fit," admitted skipping keeping her food diary for a day. That got me to thinking about my clients with the most success -- they're the ones who write down what they eat and drink.
By the way, if you're seeking to lose weight (or if you're not), I urge you to follow Stephanie's entertaining, self-deprecating, encouraging blog as she recounts her adventure as she eats and exercises her way to better health and a weight loss of 100 pounds.
Back to food journaling. Stephanie's comment about not writing down what she ate for a day got me thinking that I should keep a food journal, too, in large part, because you keep asking me what I eat if I don't have sugar and refined carbs. Stay tuned for my first Food Journal blog post, which I'll maintain for a few weeks.
For now, I invite you: Go out and buy a pretty, small notebook, and then let's keep track of our food intake together.
Or, use this Ultimate Food Diary that I've prepared for you.