It has been found that by tracking what one eats in a smart phone app, and not dieting or doing weight loss programs, can help obese people to lose weight. This study was carried out by researchers at Duke University. They found that just by regularly tracking their food intake through an app, MyFitnessPal, many persons who are overweight and obese were able to lose about 2.5 kg on average. The participants were grouped into several groups. One group only tracked their weight for a month, and then switched next to doing the tracking of their weight and food intake for the next three months. The other group was engaged in tracking their weight and food intake for the duration of the period of the experiment. While other participants only tracked their food intake. The latter group, the only food intake trackers group, were found to lose more weight that the remaining groups. One further surprise from the study was that the researchers thought that adding weight coaching training into the experiment would help the participants to lose weight more. But they found that this did not offer any help at all. But it is suggested that coaching would make a big difference, not in the short term, but in the long term.
- A digital strategy that can help one to start losing weight involves using an app. You just have to record what you eat on the app.
- The researchers believed that along with using the app to track weight, giving additional weight loss coaching would help. Surprisingly, the coaching didn’t help to lose weight.
- It was found that the key to successful outcomes in the food tracking with the app was compliance. Those who did this consistently lost the most weight.
“Interestingly, the participants who just tracked their food intake lost almost as much weight as two other groups of participants: one only tracked their weight for a month, then switched to tracking their weight and food intake for remaining three; while the other tracked their weight and food intake for the whole period.”