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Dietary Self-Monitoring Found to Be Successful and Not Time Consuming

Dietary self-monitoring has been found to be the most successful weight loss strategy, but many people have the perception that it is very time consuming and unpleasant. According to a new study though it only takes an average of 14.6 minutes per day.


Researchers looked at the dietary self-monitoring habits of 142 participants in an online behavioral weight control intervention. The participants met weekly for 24 weeks for an online session led by a trained dietician. The participants also logged their daily food intake online, creating a record of how much time they spent on the activity and how often they logged in. The total loss of baseline weight was assessed at six months.


The researchers found that the most successful participants, those who lost 10% of their body weight, spent an average of 23.2 minutes per day on self-monitoring in the first month. By the sixth month, that time had dropped to 14.6 minutes. They also found that what was most predictive of weight loss success was not the amount of time spent monitoring, but rather the frequency of log-ins. Participants who consistently self-monitored three or more times per day were the most successful.


The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Vermont and the University of South Caroline. It was published online ahead of print on February 25, 2019 in the journal Obesity.

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