Today’s guest post fits in really well with the March theme of meal planning. If weight loss is your goal, then you might be interested in learning more about the benefits of keeping a food journal. Current research sheds some interesting light on the results!
Drew Stegman has been working out and lifting for a very long time. Throughout his fitness journey, he’s learned a TON about weight loss, healthy eating, exercise habits, and muscle building. He has a particular interest in learning about the newest trends in research for what works and what doesn’t. Check out his blog for more information.
Evidence Based Research shows Effectiveness of Food Journals
I’m sure you’ve heard before that you should always track the food you’re eating. I agree with this 100%, and a recent study done by the American Journal of Preventitve Medicine shows that keeping a food diary can double your weight loss results.
Researchers from Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research kept logs on over 1,500 overweight men and women, who had an average weight of about 220 pounds. The researchers made the test subjects reduce their calorie intake to the point they were losing weight and told 750 of them to track their calorie intake as well.
After 20 weeks, the average weight loss per person was about 13 pounds. But the researchers also discovered something else; the 750 test subjects who tracked what they ate each day lose twice as much weight. Test subjects who did not keep a food journal lost about 9 pounds over the course of the study, while the test subjects who recorded what they ate each day lost an average of about 18 pounds.
Isn’t it amazing how much some simple tracking can do? If it can double your weight loss, why not start tracking what you eat each day in a food journal? Make sure you not only track the type of food you’re eating, but also the amount. In addition to this, it would be wise to read your nutrition labels and always put down the amount of protein, fats and carbohydrates in each food you eat.
Although the research is still out as to why keeping a food journal can help you lose additional weight, I think I’ve come to the somewhat obvious conclusion. See, when you’re constantly monitoring what you’re doing in life, you’re going to hold yourself accountable to it. When it comes to weight loss, things are no different. If you’re constantly monitoring what you’re eating and how much you’re eating in a food journal, you’re going to see what mistakes you’re making and will more than likely make changes to improve your diet, resulting in increased weight loss. You can flip back several weeks and see what you did back then, to see how you can improve for the future.
That’s another thing I want to bring up – always write down the date and time that you ate the food! If you don’t, you’ll look back on certain days of your nutrition and have no idea how long ago it was or when it took place. And if you don’t even know when you ate your meals, how can you make positive changes for the future? You can’t.
Hopefully this article has given you a better understanding about the power a food journal can have on your physique. It’s simply amazing how much a single choice can have such a profound effect on your weight loss success and a food journal can do just that. It’s not my opinion; it’s backed by science as well! I’m sure this is not the only study which suggests this and if you want to learn about more studies then Google is your friend. Anyway, stay ripped and lean.