By Benjamin Ryan, PHARMATIVE Scientific Writer
Weight-loss studies have found that the best predictor of success is if people keep a running log of their calorie and fat intake. However, many people bristle at the thought of time needed to jot down every morsel.
According to a new study, such record keeping can take as little as 15 minutes a day.
Publishing their findings in the journal Obesity, researchers conducted a 24-week study that engaged 142 people in an online weight-loss intervention that included the use of a food-monitoring app. Additionally, the participants engaged in a weekly online group session directed by a trained dietician who provided them with guidance on controlling their weight.
At the study’s outset, the participants had a median body mass index (BMI) of 35.8 (over 30 is obese). Ninety-one percent were women, 12 percent were African American and 83 percent were white. They had a median age of 51 years old.
The participants spent an average of 23 minutes per day logging their food intake on an app during the first month of the study; by month six, the average time had dropped to 15 minutes. Among the two thirds of participants who were still using the app by the sixth month of the study, there was no association between the time spent on the app and their weight loss.
Instead, it was the number of times per day that participants logged into the app that was connected to differences in weight loss. Those who lost at least 5 percent of their body weight logged in an average of 2.4 times daily while those who lost less than that threshold logged in 1.5 times per day. Similarly, those who lost at least 10 percent of their body weight and those who lost less than 10 percent logged in a respective 2.7 and 1.7 times daily.
To monitor your own food intake, check out the apps LoseIt, Calorie King or My Fitness Pal and for more information on healthy weight loss see PHARMATIVE at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFOfY9P8pJQ.