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Skipping Meals Less Effective For Weight Loss In Older Women Than Keeping a Food Journal

Illustration for article titled Skipping Meals Less Effective For Weight Loss In Older Women Than Keeping a Food Journal

In a year-long study at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, researchers discovered a significantly different result in the weight of older overweight and obese women who kept "food journals" (nutritional records of what they ate, how much of it and how many calories) versus those who abstained from journaling and skipped meals. The women who kept the journals lost 6 pounds more than those who didn't, and the women who skipped meals lost 8 pounds less than those who ate regularly.


And of exercising, head researcher and director of the Hutchinson center Anne McTiernan said:

"Exercise alone does not cause very much weight loss. Most studies have shown that with exercise alone you might be able to lose about two to three pounds over a year. What exercise does do is keep weight off-long term and it helps prevents loss of muscle."


The women who participated were 50 to 75 years old, living in the Seattle area, and were divided into two groups: diet only and exercise plus diet. Both groups lost an average of 10% their body weight. It was the first study among women of this age group that examined a range of weight-loss strategies and eating behaviors to see which worked and which didn't, claimed McTiernan.

'Keep a journal, don't skip meals to shed weight: study' [Chicago Tribune]

Photo via Christopher Edwin Nuzzaco/Shutterstock

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I'd always heard that skipping meals was bad from a weight-loss perspective so that's not too surprising. I suppose more evidence is always useful.