Thursday, February 12, 2009

Write Off the Pounds, Add On the Miles?

Researchers from the University of Arkansas discovered that dieters who kept a food record for three weeks or longer lost more weight than those who didn't—3.5 pounds more to be exact! They believe that keeping a food diary over the long term may be even more helpful in increasing weight loss. It's really not rocket science. Basically, when you become more aware of what you're eating, you make better decisions. Picture the angel-you and the devil-you sitting on your shoulders. If you know you've already recorded in your diary that Krispy Kreme donut you ate at breakfast, the angel-you is going to give you a big swift kick in the ear when you start to think about that Big Mac you want for lunch. Devil-you is going to try hard to win the battle, but angel-you, otherwise known as your conscience, can be a pretty strong influence and now it has hard data to back up its nagging.

This got me to thinking. If you lose more weight when you keep a food diary, will you run more miles if you keep a running journal? I log my miles on a great free online running log site I can attest to the fact that seeing the bar graph of my weekly runs is definitely an incentive to hit the road. Even though no one sees my log but me, it's still embarrassing when a weekly graph shows just one or two bars. So, maybe keeping a running log will help you log more miles. I do know, from personal experience, that keeping a log is very helpful in evaluating why you may have gotten an injury, or why you've plateaued in your running. Try logging your runs for a month or so and see what you think and let me know the outcome.

No comments: