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“To shed pounds take pictures” says the New Scientist this month. Slimmers sticking to conventional diets should invest in a camera; a study has shown that people who take photographs of everything they eat are more likely to stick to their diets. Apparently, the prospect of having pictorial evidence of their gluttony shames people into eating less and also encourages them to eat more healthily. “I Had to think more carefully about what I was going to eat because I had to take a picture of it” said one of the 43 volunteers who took part in the research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. ” I was less likely to have a jumbo bag of M&Ms. It curbed my choices.” Another volunteer claims it helped him to see which foods were missing from his diet. ” I noticed there weren’t too many greens, which means that I should try to eat more vegetables and fruit”. The volunteers also kept a written record of their meals. These were also shown to help but proved less powerful than photos as a reminder of the size and quality of what they had eaten.
At Diets Don’t Work we include nutritional assessment and advice with all block bookings of six or more personal training sessions and, as standard procedure, get clients to keep a written food diary. As part of our overall lifestyle change policy this works well but I love the idea of the photo – the camera doesn’t lie!! From now on wherever possible we will get clients to keep a food diary this way, and I’m sure the results will be effective and interesting. Watch this space for further results on what happened!