(HealthDay News) — Dietary self-monitoring in the form of food journal use correlates with improved weight loss, while missing meals and eating out frequently are associated with less weight loss among postmenopausal overweight-to-obese women, according to a study published online July 16 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Angela Kong, Ph.D., R.D., from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues examined the associations of self-monitoring (self-weighing and food journal completion) and eating-related behaviors with 12-month weight change in a study involving 123 postmenopausal overweight-to-obese women.

The researchers found the mean percent weight loss to be 10.7 percent. Completing more food journals was associated with a significantly greater weight loss (interquartile range, 3.7 percent greater weight loss). Missing meals and eating out for lunch at least once a week correlated with lower weight loss (4.3 and 2.5 percent lower weight loss, respectively).

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“This study identified specific behaviors linked to weight outcomes that can inform the development of practical, evidence-based weight loss recommendations for overweight and obese postmenopausal women,” the authors write. “From a clinical point of view, these findings are promising and suggest fundamentals such as eating out less, eating at regular intervals, and use of food journals are weight loss strategies that may be effective for postmenopausal women.”

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