Studies have indicated that dietary self-monitoring is considered as one of the most effective weight loss strategies. It requires a person to keep a track of all the food and beverages they consume all day long. You are also required to take a look at the preparation methods and portion sizes.
People who try to lose weight are not seen to be enthusiastic about this particular method. They believe that it is extremely time-consuming. However, the investigators at the University of Vermont and the University of South Carolina have indicated that noticing your diet is an effective and easier way, more than it seems.
Quicker Over the Time
A total of 142 participants were included in this study. These people were already a part of the Internet Obesity Treatment Enhanced with Motivational Interviewing. Most of the participants were females and almost 81 percent of them suffered from obesity.
These participants joined an online session led by a dietician on a weekly basis. The program continued for almost 24 weeks. The researchers asked these participants to keep a track of their diet with the help of an online program. This helped the scientists see what exactly they ate, how much time they spent on this, and how often they recorded it
This self-monitoring continued for 6 months after which the scientists calculated the time it took these people to carry out this activity and how successful it was for weight loss.
The results were featured in a journal named Obesity.
The team also reported that most of the people were successful and were able to lose about 10 percent of their total body weight. During the first month, these people spent an average of 23.2 minutes per day noting down their dietary intake. Till the sixth month, this time dropped to 14.6 minutes.
The researchers also believe that this decrease can be because of one of the two factors: the efficiency of participants in noticing their diet, and the ability of the program’s ability to predict the words and phrases used regularly.
Frequency is Important
The important findings of this study prove that dietary self-monitoring may not be as difficult as people think it is, especially now when various apps have been invented. The results can also help people set weight loss targets that are achievable.
Neither the time spent in recording the diet nor the level of detail had more effect on weight loss or not. Similar studies have indicated that it is the frequency with which these people log the data that improves the outcome.
Logging in twice per day was found to increase the result and improved weight loss. However, those who self-monitored themselves thrice or more every day were more successful.
The researchers are hopeful about their results and say that this study will motivate people to chart their dietary intake. It will promote this less-important method of weight loss among the masses as an important weight loss technique.
After all, taking out 15 minutes every day to monitor what you eat is not so difficult for losing weight.