Keep a journal, don't skip meals to shed weight: study
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Want to drop those extra pounds without starving yourself? Keeping a food journal, not skipping meals and eating out less often, particularly for lunch, will help, according to new research released on Friday.
Scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, in a study that looked at the impact of various self-monitoring techniques in older overweight and obese women, showed that simple changes in behavior can make a difference on the scales.
They found that in the year-long study women who kept journals lost six pounds (2.7 kgs) more than those you didn't, but if they skipped meals they dropped eight pounds (3.6 kgs) less than women who ate regularly.
Ladies who lunched in a restaurant at least weekly lost on average five fewer pounds (2.3 kgs).
"Knowing what you are eating and knowing how much you are eating seem to be the key," Anne McTiernan, the director of the Hutchinson Center's Prevention Center who conducted the study, said in an interview.
"For individuals who are trying to lose weight, the No. 1 piece of advice based on these study results would be to keep a food journal to help meet daily calorie goals."
McTiernan said the more journals the women completed, the more weight they lost. Recording what they ate increased the women's awareness of the foods and calories they consumed.
Expanding waistlines are a growing problem around the globe, leading to increased health problems and costs. Figures from the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) showed obesity rates ranged from a low of 4 percent in Japan and Korea to 30 percent or more in the United States and Mexico.
Body mass index (BMI), which is a measurement that compares weight and height are used to measure obesity. A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese, while a BMI of 25 to 29 is considered overweight.
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