Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has released a study that provides specific strategies for losing weight. They used randomized controlled trials featuring controlling calories and various types of diets. What they found out is simple, yet remarkable. I know we can ALL use any help that increases our weight loss success, so let’s take a look at their finding.
First of all they found that specific diets (more protein, less carbs, low fat, etc.) were not the most successful methods of weight loss. Not to say a specific diet doesn’t help or that in combination with their other findings, that it won’t improve your weight loss, but specific diet by itself is NOT the most important criteria for consistent weight loss success. Wow! You say. Then what do we have to do to increase weight loss success?
The official report is somewhat convoluted, so to simplify for all of us, it really breaks down to 3 specific behaviours. They are:
- Journal your food intake – in other words count calories so that you know exactly how much food is going into your body AND make sure it’s less than what you’re body burns daily.
- Be honest – record EVERYTHING
- Be precise – measure quantities
- Be complete – included details … was that a baked potato or deep fried fench fries for lunch?
- Be consistent – Take your journal or mobile app with you everywhere.
- Don’t skip meals – doing so sets you up for binge eating when you finally get home and attack your fridge.
- Minimize eating “out” – Prepare and take food with you. The study shows that going out for lunch or dinners results in ordering more food than if we prepared it ourselves AND usually includes foods that are not prepared in the healthiest way. The worst eating out meal was lunch, so if you at least curtail lunches out, you’ll make a big difference.
Bottom line is that these 3 behaviours resulted in an average weight loss of 19 pounds more that the group that used diet alone over the period of the study.
Yes, a good diet in combination with the strategies above as well as exercise and life style changes around junk food, fried food and high glycemic index foods is also required. However, if you apply the 3 suggestions from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center study, you’ll be well on your way to making significant gains and changes in your diet plan.
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Ron Merk © 2012