Dieters can double their weight loss by keeping a journal of what they eat, according to researchers from Kaiser Permanente Centre for Health Research in Portland, Oregon.
In this new study, more than 1,700 overweight adults were asked to keep food journals while following a heart-healthy DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy foods.
The food journals, which were submitted at weekly support group meetings, kept track of what was eaten, the quantity, and the calories in each item.
After 20 weeks, people who didn't keep a daily food journal lost an average of nine pounds while those who kept one for at least six days of the week lost an average of 18 pounds.
The more food journals a person kept, the more weight they lost.
According to the study author, keeping a food journal makes it easier for dieters to see what they are eating - and where they could cut calories.
For more weight loss tips and an example of a food journal, check out Leslie Beck's No Fail Diet.
This study will be published in the August 2008 edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
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