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Annals Of Behavioral Medicine: Daily Weigh Ins Help Dieters Lose

A study published in the December issue of the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, and reported here in the LAT, finds that dieters who weighed themselves regularly shed more pounds over a 24-month period than people who didn't regularly weigh themselves. Those who weighed themselves daily lost the most.

Many health professionals still question this daily weigh in advice, but at least in this study, it appears to work. (Coincidentally, we devote an entire chapter to the importance of daily weigh ins in our forthcoming health and fitness book.)

In addition to much else in the article, which you should read in full, the following mechancal weigh in tips are reported:

' To minimize variation, always weigh at the same time of day, such as in the morning just after having used the bathroom.

' If you are weighing yourself daily, understand that your weight will vary day to day. It's the trend that's important. You may find it useful to make a graph of your weight.

' Put the scale on a flat, uncarpeted surface so the readings don't wobble.

' Use a scale that is consistent, giving the same weight when you step on, then off, then on again. That's more important than the type of scale you buy. Use the same scale each time.

' Don't get fixated on the scale. Monitor your body change in other ways, such as the fit of your clothes, a tape measure or how you physically feel.

' To the best of your ability, try to gauge how the weighing makes you feel, and if it is reinforcing 'or undermining 'your efforts.

In a Wausau, Wisconsin study presented at the American Heart Association's annual meeting in Dallas, reported here in the WSJ by Jennifer Corbett Dooren, researchers found that school age children who ate out four or more times a week had higher blood pressure, bad cholesterol readings, and lower insulin sensitivity compared with those who ate out less.

The study showed those who ate out more often also drank almost twice as many sodas and other soft drinks, about six cups a week compared with 3.65 cups a week for the children who ate out less often.

It is obviously much more difficult for all of to control the quality and quantity of our meals when we eat out. When we cook at home, particularly when starting with basic foodstuffs, we know exactly what is in the food we prepare. Not so when you are eating out. It takes extra vigilance to ensure you and your family are consuming healthful foods and proper portions when dining out. Select carefully and mentally determine calorie counts and fat levels of the foods you eat. Many restaurants provide nutritional information to aid in this evaluation. Many food selection decisions are simply common sense.

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