Three Simple Steps That Can Help You Lose Weight

Keep track of your food intake in a journal, don’t skip meals, and avoid eating out if you want to lose weight, MyHealthNewsDaily reported July 13.

Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute who studied the habits of women trying to shed pounds found that these three steps were the most positively associated with successful weight loss: women who adopted these practices lost five to eight more pounds, on average, than those who did not take these steps.

“We were surprised at how much of a difference using food journals and eating at home made,” said researcher Anne McTiernan.

Researchers tracked 123 women ages 50 to 75 for the study. Breaking the results down:

  • Women who kept a detailed daily food journal lost about six pounds more than those who didn’t keep a food journal
  • Those who consistently ate three meals daily dropped an average of eight more pounds than those who skipped meals
  • Women who ate out of the home at least once weekly lost an average of five pounds less than those who did not eat at restaurants. Going out for lunch was especially detrimental to weight-loss, the study found.

The research was published in the July 13, 2012 issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.