Scientists may have finally cracked the way to get the most out of your diet — it matters how you start, not finish.
Getting ahead in the early weeks of a diet can have greater longterm benefits such as greater weight loss, according to new research by CSIRO, an Australian national science agency.
The study, which accounted for more than 22,000 members of CSIRO’s Total Wellbeing Diet, showed that participants were able to shed more weight in the first three weeks of a diet and achieve as much as three and a half times greater weight loss compared to those who weren’t as efficient in the early stages of the diet.
In short, the first weeks of a diet are crucial for longterm goals.
Dr. Gilly Hendrie, the lead CSIRO researcher in this study, said the key to getting the most out of your dieting goals is to organize and prepare yourself before jumping into a diet.
“This sets you up for regular check-ins—we found the most successful weight loss occurred when people viewed their meal plans, used the food tracker, looked up foods every day and weighed in regularly to stay engaged and accountable. It’s been a challenging time for Australians recently, with diet and wellbeing understandably taking a back-seat for some people. With this in mind, we are pleased to have the evidence that shows, with the right framework, tactics and attitude, people can set themselves up for effective weight loss.”
In the study, participants were weighed nearly twice a week. Their meal plan and food were tracked in each meal three times a day. Those who lost the most weight in the early weeks gave themselves two days to prepare for the diet program. While participants were encouraged to use online tools to help them better plan and prepare their diets, those who saw the most weightless and their longterm goals used it more than 50% of the time than other participants in the 12-week program.
It makes sense since tracking what you eat helps you stay engaged and take accountablility.
Hendrie added: “At a time when we are using digital platforms more than ever, the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet provides a strong framework to support this early and sustained weight loss—whilst also fitting into the habits of our new normal.”
The use of digital platforms as a means of boosting physical exercise is one that is popular within our culture. Fitness apps like Strava, Garmin Connect, and more encourage users to share their fitness data and track their progress as they continue to use it.
Recently, a study found that these fitness apps can have a major boost on your lifestyle because they create healthy competition within an online community that can encourage people to continue working out. It’s one of the rare forms of social media that seems to be used correctly.