You’ve heard a million and one weight loss rules, and while some are simply hogwash, others are tried and true, or backed by solid research. Three often espoused rules just earned a little more credibility, thanks to a new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
Don’t skip meals
Dine out less often
Keep a food journal
Scientists looked at data from 123 inactive, overweight to obese women who were randomly assigned to one of two year long weight loss approaches: diet only or diet plus exercise. At the end of the study ladies in both groups lost on average 10 percent of their starting weight, but the researchers found some other notable results:
The subjects who dined out for lunch at least once a week lost on average five fewer pounds than those who ate away from home less often (the authors noted that frequent dining out was tied to less weight loss, but the strongest link was seen with lunch)
- Women who kept food diaries lost about six more pounds than those who did not
- Those who skipped meals lost almost eight fewer pounds than women who didn’t
Losing an extra five to eight pounds over the course of a year may not sound significant, but that difference can be substantial to your health and how your clothes fit you. To put it in perspective, think about a 16 ounce tub of shortening or four sticks of butter. That’s just one pound of fat. And these three rules don’t require major sacrifices.
Want to get on board? Four of my previous posts can help you put these rules in action:
To start journaling check out Do You Think You Eat Healthier Than You Really Do?
To stop skipping meals read The No Hunger, No Hassle Plan
Cynthia Sass is a registered dietitian with master's degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she's a SHAPE contributing editor and nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays. Her latest New York Times best seller is S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches.