Sometimes we find help in the oddest ways. Having trouble getting started on a project? Just tell a friend about it and, the next thing you know, you're knee-deep in paint and plaster. It's the old accountability issue. When we tell someone our plans, they expect us to follow through. Or, maybe they could care less - maybe it's just us...
That really may be the case - especially when it comes to weight loss.
A new study reveals that the simple act of writing down what we eat helps us lose weight. Not being forced to tell people about our diets; not having to show them our notes; just the simple act of writing down our food intake for our own eyes. Pretty amazing.
The study assessed almost 1,700 people, with an average age of 55. All participants were asked to eat less fat, eat more vegetables, fruits and whole grains. They were also encouraged to exercise a total of 180 minutes each week, with walking being the primary activity.
The good news is that all participants lost weight. But, there was a difference. The group who just ate better and exercised more lost an average of 9 pounds over 6 months. The group who added in keeping a food diary lost twice as much - a cool 18 pounds on average.
Researchers say the simple act of making a note about what we eat causes us to pay attention. It also helps us identify times when we tend to overeat. Even if our food diary consists of the back of a napkin.
So, go ahead and keep your diet plans to yourself. But, keep a pencil and pad handy. It seems the power of the pen is weighty indeed.To read more about the study, see this from Reuters. To see a sample of a simple food diary, see this from About.com.