One of the most effective predictors of success to losing weight is monitoring and recording calorie and fat intake throughout the day. However dietary self-monitoring is widely viewed as therefore unpleasant and time, several would-be weight-losers can’t muster the desire power to try and do it. The new analysis, to be published within the March issue of Obesity suggests that the fact of dietary self-monitoring may be far less disagreeable than the perception. The study found that after six months of monitoring their dietary intake, the most successful participants in an online behavioral weight-loss programme spent an average of just 14.6 minutes per day on the activity.
Programme participants recorded the calories and fat for all foods and beverages they consumed, as well as the portion sizes and also the preparation methods. Conducted by researchers at the University of Vermont and the University of South Carolina, the study is the first to quantify the amount of time that dietary self-monitoring actually takes for those who successfully shed those extra kilos. Lead author of the study Jean Harvey said, “People hate it; they assume it’s heavy and awful, however, the question we had was: How much time does dietary self-monitoring really take?” adding, “The answer is, not very much.”
Harvey and her colleagues looked out the dietary self-monitoring habits of 142 participants in an online behavioral weight management intervention. For twenty-four weeks, participants met weekly for an online group session led by a trained dietitian. what is more, volunteers logged their daily food intake online, in the process leaving behind a record of how much time they spent on the activity and how often they logged in?
Participants who lost 100% of their body weight -- the foremost successful members of the cohort -- spent the average of 23.2 minutes per day on self-monitoring in the first month of the programme. By the sixth month, the time had dropped to 14.6 minutes. Notably, what foreseen the most weight-loss success was not the time spent monitoring but the frequency of log-ins, confirming the conclusions of earlier studies.
Harvey said, “Those who self-monitored Three or more time per day, and were consistent day after day, were the most successful.” Harvey attributes the decrease in time needed for self-monitoring to participants’ increasing efficiency in recording data and to the online program’s progressive ability to complete words and phrases automatically after just a few letters were entered. The study’s most important contribution, Harvey said, may be in helping prospective weight-losers set behavioral targets.
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