Keeping a food journal may take an extra 10 minutes from your day but it could help you keep a healthy weight. A new study found that self-monitoring behaviors, preparing meals at home, and eating at regular intervals enabled women to maintain weight loss for at least 12 months.
The study included 123 postmenopausal women who were overweight or obese who enrolled in a weight loss program.Tracking food increased weight loss by an average of 3.7%. While maintaining a food journal is researchers’ “number one piece of of advice” for weight loss other strategies like making meals at home, self-weighing, exercise, and keeping a consistent eating schedule can help. Though skipping meals may seem like it could boost weight loss by reducing caloric intake, it actually lowered weight loss by 4.3%. Eating out frequently, and particularly eating lunch out, decreased weight loss by at least 2.5%.
Another recent article from The New York Times analyzed methods for maintaining a regular exercise routine. It turns out that many people who regularly exercise don’t do it for reducing health risks– it simply makes them feel good.
Another reason to feel good about exercise and weight loss: both can relieve back pain naturally.