Study: Lose more weight with diary

July 8, 2008 2:43:24 PM PDT
Can a pen and paper really help you lose weight? If you use them to keep track of what you're eating, they apparently can. A new study found people who kept a regular food diary during dieting lost twice as much weight as other dieters.

From fad diets to caffeine pills, Americans are always looking for new assistance to help with weight loss. But the study suggests the best diet aid might be right in our own homes, next to the stapler and the glue stick.

The simple act of writing down what we eat can help us shed pounds, experts say, and the research backs them up.

The study looked at 1,700 dieters and found that those who kept regular food diaries lost double the weight. The more detailed the diaries, the greater the weight loss.

Researchers say our memories are unreliable and that people tend to underestimate the amount of food they eat - putting it down in black and white forces us to confront reality.

It also helps dieters identify any patterns of particular weaknesses, such as excessive snacking or a weakness for fast-food hamburgers.

Nutritionists say pretty much anything can be used to keep a food diary - from an old-fashioned note book to text messages you send to yourself.