The Checkup: Best Weight-Loss Tool? Food Diary, Study Says

Some practical weight-loss advice from a new study.

• Eat at home, don’t skip meals, keep track of what you eat—those are the big takeaways from a new study, which looked at how certain self-monitoring behaviors can affect weight loss. The 123 women in the study, ages 50 to 75, were divided into either a just-diet group, or a diet-and-exercise group, which was tasked with working out five times a week for 45 minutes a pop. Then both groups took part in certain activities, like meeting with a dietician, taking part in group meetings (a la Weight Watchers), and keeping a food journal. Overall, the women in the exercise group lost slightly more weight than those in the diet-only group. But food journaling, researchers found, was the best behavior for promoting weight-loss across the board: “Those who turned them in more regularly lost an average of 12.8 percent of their weight, as opposed to below-average journal-keepers, who lost an average of 8.2 percent,” the Los Angeles Times reports. Other behaviors that contributed to greater weight loss: eschewing meals out and eating at home, and avoiding skipping meals. Which makes me wonder: Did you eat breakfast today?

• Ok, now that you know how to lose weight, what’s the best way to keep it off? The LA Times has you covered there, too. Turns out, according to one small study, low-fat diets cause the metabolism to slow down, while high-protein ones keep them revved during periods of weight-loss maintenance. So start grilling up some chicken, friends.

• The New York Times reports on a study showing why it might be best to do three, 10-minute workouts a day, rather than one 30-minute workout.