Popular diet books may offer eccentric advice, such as taking ice-cold baths in the morning to shed pounds, or eating according to your blood type. But recent research (via TheDoctorWillSeeYouNow) reveals that the secret to losing weight and keeping weight off may be to apply a few practical principles in your life.
Those principles can be distilled into three pieces of straightforward advice: eat three square meals a day, keep a journal or log of your intake, and don’t eat out that often.
The advice may sound like it came directly from your grandmother, but in fact, it’s the result of a year-long study done by researchers at the National Cancer Institute in the U.S. (The findings are part of a larger study into the effects of diet and lifestyle on breast cancer risk.)
For the study, the researchers studied the habits and behaviours of more than 120 post-menopausal women, who also met the standard for being considered overweight. After examining the results — all of the participants lost weight — the researchers discovered that three key behaviours were correlated with greater weight loss. Those habits were eating three meals a day (not skipping meals), monitoring intake using a journal or log and not eating out that often.
The benefits even break down by behaviour. For example, the women who didn’t skip meals lost eight more pounds overall than women who did. Women who frequently recorded their intake with a food journal lost on average six more pounds than those who didn’t. The reason for the positive association between eating regularly and keeping track of intake may come down to metabolism, and/or habits that encourage excessive hunger, which may then translate into overindulging when you do finally eat.
And here’s another reason to brown-bag your lunch, aside from cost-savings. It’ll keep you trimmer. The study found that women who bought their lunch or ate out even as little as once a week didn’t lose as much weight as women who made their own meals at home. How much weight hangs in the balance? Women who hit the food court even once a week lost five fewer pounds than women who prepared their own meals.
Do you bring your own lunch to work each day?