In episode 99 of his video series, Dr. Larson discusses:
Fat loss, or weight loss, changes the body composition and is key to reducing your risk of chronic conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart disease, obesity, certain types of cancers, and other chronic illnesses. A new study out of the University of Vermont, being published this week in Obesity, demonstrates that people who track their food intake are more likely to achieve their fat loss goals.
Researchers ran a 24-week program that recruited people to take an online behavioral weight loss intervention program. They were asked to track their food and macronutrient intake daily. The online program allowed them to track their food intake, and on the backend, the researchers were able to see the amount of time that the participants logged in and how long they took inputting their food. More importantly, the researchers could also see how regularly participants were tracking their food intake.
What researchers found was that people who regularly input data were the ones who were more successful at achieving their weight loss goals. Participants who lost 10% of their body fat, logged in the most time and with the most regularity, which was about three times per day. When I ask my patients to keep a food diet, often they have concerns that it will take too much time, and that they just don’t have the extra time in a day to do that.
The researchers evaluated the amount of time that it took those who were successful to log their food consumption. And on average, it took them just about 23 minutes per day at the beginning of the intervention. At the end of the 24-weeks, that time shrank to about 14 minutes per day. You have 1,440 minutes per day, 14-20 minutes of it is not that much to ask to achieve your weight loss goals.
DR. CHAD LARSON
There are many iPhone and other smartphone apps that make it incredibly easy to track your food consumption. Apps like LoseIt, CalorieKing, and Myfitnesspal, are all easy ways to record your food intake. Myfitnesspal has an incredible database full of foods. And once you start recording what you eat, those foods pop up automatically, making it that much easier and faster.
Being overweight is like being in financial trouble. Before you can figure out how to get yourself out of debt, you have to track your finances. Recording what you eat is similar to recording what you spend. Once you figure out what it is that you are consuming, it is easier to make healthy lifestyle choices and to get things under control.
Sure, our ancestors didn’t have to track their food, and they weren’t overweight. But they also didn’t have the vast number of unhealthy or abundant food choices that are available today. So if you want to achieve your weight loss goals and reduce your risk of chronic illness, track your food daily and get your “food financials” under control to get out of overweight debt today.