World Bulletin/News Desk
Want to drop those extra pounds without starving yourself? Keeping a food journal, not skipping meals and eating out less often, particularly for lunch, will help, according to new research released on Friday.
Scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, in a study that looked at the impact of various
self-monitoring techniques in older overweight and obese women, showed that simple changes in behavior can make a difference on the scales.
They found that in the year-long study women who kept journals lost six pounds (2.7 kgs) more than those you didn't, but if they skipped meals they dropped eight pounds (3.6 kgs) less than women who ate regularly.
Ladies who lunched in a restaurant at least weekly lost on average five fewer pounds (2.3 kgs).
"Knowing what you are eating and knowing how much you are eating seem to be the key," Anne McTiernan, the director of the Hutchinson Center's Prevention Center who conducted the study, said in an interview.
"For individuals who are trying to lose weight, the No. 1 piece of advice based on these study results would be to keep a food journal to help meet daily calorie goals."
McTiernan said the more journals the women completed, the more weight they lost. Recording what they ate increased the women's awareness of the foods and calories they consumed.
Diet and exercise
Expanding waistlines are a growing problem around the globe, leading to increased health problems and costs. Figures from the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) showed obesity rates ranged from a low of 4 percent in Japan and Korea to 30 percent or more in the United States and Mexico.
Body mass index (BMI), which is a measurement that compares weight and height are used to measure obesity. A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese, while a BMI of 25 to 29 is considered overweight.
McTiernan and her team studied 123 women, aged 50 to 75 years old, who lived in the Seattle area in the dietary weight loss intervention study. Their findings are published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
They divided the women into two groups, diet only and exercise plus diet, and assessed their food intake, weight-control strategies, meal patterns and encouraged them to eat between 1200 and 2,000 calories a day.
At the end of the study women in both groups lost an average of 10 percent of their body weight.
"Exercise alone does not cause very much weight loss. Most studies have shown that with exercise alone you might be able to lose about two to three pounds over a year," McTiernan explained.
"What exercise does do is keep weight off-long term and it helps prevents loss of muscle."
The researchers advised people trying to lose weight to record everything they eat, to be accurate, to measure portions and to read labels. Accuracy was also important, so any toppings or condiments added to food should also be included in the journal.
"It was the first study to look at a range of eating and weight-loss behaviors to see which ones worked and which ones didn't," said McTiernan. "These are the ones that made the difference."
Paris being hit by the longest and most intense winter pollution peak in 10 years, according French air quality watchdog
A third of the world's polar bears will disappear in next 40 years
About 20 percent of Canadians have little or no coverage
Students in a private Australian high school have recreated a malaria drug in the school laboratory
2 studies claim psilocybin, outlawed by federal government, could significantly improve patients’ mood
Global crises changing nature of hotel industry, expert warns Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders conference
Fighting climate change means different things in different cities, as this snapshot illustrates:
The Paris deal, now in force, calls for capping global warming at two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, and at 1.5 C (2.7 F) if possible.
British MPs voted in February to allow the creation of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) babies with DNA from three people.
The H5N6 virus was first confirmed on November 18 at a farm in central South Korea and it has since spread to farms around the country, with the total number of cases now standing at 46.
It is one of the biggest clinical trials involving the disease ever undertaken and has revived hopes in the scientific community of a breakthrough in the battle against AIDS.
Nuclear energy: who's advancing and who's retreating
A killer bird flu that is sweeping Europe has forced Sweden to cull more than 200,000 chickens
Study finds blood of old mice makes young mice feeble; scientists hope to discover more in human trials soon
Drug overdoses are now killing more Americans than car crashes, putting the sheer scale of the crisis into perspective.
The idea of clean air, potable water and healthy food free from heavy metals, pesticides, and other pollutants as a human right emerged in the mid-1970s.