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Weight Loss Strategies that Work

Red & Yellow apples on opposite sides of an old scaleKeep a food journal, don’t skip meals, and eat at home: These are among the strategies that may help overweight women lose weight, suggests a new study published online last week in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The findings come from a one-year weight loss program for overweight and obese post-menopausal women. At the end of the year, the 123 women answered which of a series of eating-related behaviors they followed. The strategy that was one of the most effective for weight loss was the food journal. Women who wrote down what they ate consistently and frequently lost 4 percent more – about 6 pounds – than women who infrequently noted their foods.

Going out for meals, especially lunch, was also linked to losing less weight. Women who ate out for lunch at least weekly lost on average 5 fewer pounds than those who ate out less frequently. Women who reported skipping meals lost almost 8 fewer pounds than women who did not.

Several of these weight loss strategies are similar to those found in other studies and surveys, including the National Weight Loss Registry.

Source: McTiernan et al. Self-monitoring and Eating-related Behaviors are Associated with 12-month Weight Loss Among Postmenopausal Overweight-to-obese Women in a Dietary Weight Loss Intervention. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2012 (in press).

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