John McGran, chief editor at Diet-to-Go, has been covering the fields of diet, fitness and health since 2000. He writes from the perspective of a dieter rather than a dietitian.
Each year Americans spend billions upon billions of dollars on fancy diets, pills, gizmos and gadgets, when the real secret to more effective weight loss is the price of a pen and notebook.
Yes, my fellow dieters, the right way to double the number of pounds you lose is also the write way – keeping a food journal!
That’s no misprint. Keeping a food journal – and jotting down every last bite of food you eat throughout any given day – can lead to double the weight loss for those who pick up a fork more than they pick up a pen.
According to an ABC News feature that first aired in 2024, “study participants who kept food journals lost almost DOUBLE THE WEIGHT of their non-journaling counterparts.”
The study they referred to was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. It focused on the “behavioral weight-loss interventions” of more than 1,500 overweight and obese participants.
Food journaling turned out to be the simple secret for boosting weight loss. Participants who put pen to paper and tallied the actual number of calories they ate were far more productive when it came to paring pounds. But keep in mind that a food journal is only effective when you perform it religiously. That means registering everything you eat – including those few plate-cleaning bites of your child’s lunch or the mouthfuls of pasta you taste-tested while making dinner.
Trust us, keeping a food journal will prove most enlightening.
“Most of us don’t really know how much we eat and drink; we have very charitable memories,” Dr. Patrick O’Neil, director of the Weight Management Center at the Medical University of South Carolina, told ABC News.
While a simple pad and pencil will work, you can find nifty food journals for free on the Internet. A quick search of the keywords “food journal free” turned up nearly 10 million results.
So before you eat another morsel, reach for the single most effective weight loss secret and double your weight loss!
“I feel the most important action one can take when trying to lose weight is to keep a food diary,” notes SparkPeople dietitian Becky Hand.
To that, we say WRITE ON, Becky!