Friday, September 19, 2008

Food Photos Flash Diet to Lose Weight

If you want to lose weight, it could be as simple as taking pictures of your food. Researchers are calling the "Flash Diet" the perfect way to cut calories for weight loss.

After all, nutrition bloggers have a strange habit of taking pictures of their meals and post them on their websites and calling it "food porn". But recent research has found this might have a benefit.

A study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the "New Scientist" journal, suggests that the "Flash Diet", keeping a photographic record of everything subjects ate, helped research subjects lose weight.

This looks like another form of accountability and another reason to try and avoid the guilt of cheating. By taking photographs of their meals, the subjects were more likely to stick to their diet. Subjects that didn't take the photos, but used food diaries, were not as successful.

The researchers also suggested that having the photographic evidence of each meal helped with calorie counting.

I've long believed that food diaries and using sites like Fitday.com are helpful for men and women who want to lose weight. This should prevent overeating and mindless snacking before dinner. But it looks like the Flash Diet, actually taking photos of the food, is even MORE helpful.

If you combine this with social support and accountability using a social networking site like Twitter - where you post your meals and photos - you'll take a huge step to controlling your overeating if that is a problem in your life.

Some subjects were motivated by the guilt of having "evidence" about bad choices, while others were motivated to improve their diet once they realized that green vegetables - and therefore color - were missing from their food photos. Interesting stuff.

Researchers suggest a downfall of food diaries is that they are often completed hours after the meal is eaten and therefore details are a bit "foggy". But the photos are immediate and lasting evidence of the real meal. So taking photos of your food will help you be more accurate and accountable.

All you need to do is snap a quick shot with your phone camera and you'll get the benefits. For even more results, post the photos to your blog, and post your meals and a link to the photo on a micro-blogging site such as Twitter. You'll get support from others all over the world to stay on track.

Follow me on Twitter here: => www.twitter.com/craigballantyne

Helping you lose weight with every method available,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS

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