Food Diaries and Weight Loss

Keeping a food diary can double a person’s weight loss according to a study from Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research.

“The more food records people kept, the more weight they lost,” said lead author Jack Hollis Ph.D., a researcher at Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon. “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 a food diary doesn’t have to be a formal thing. Just the act of scribbling down what you eat on a Post-It note, sending yourself e-mails tallying each meal or sending yourself a text message will suffice. It’s the process of reflecting on what you eat that helps us become aware of our habits, and hopefully change our behaviour,” says Keith Bachman MD.

“This study shows that most people can lose weight if they have the right tools and support. And food journaling in conjunction with a weight management programme or class is the ideal combination of tools and support,” he adds.