Science Says This 15-Minute Trick Will Help You Lose Weight ... And It's Not Exercise

Scientists have given this weight-loss trick -- that takes just 15 minutes a day -- a big tick of approval.

Why? Because it's seen people lose up a significant amount of weight in just six months -- and all they had to do was write.

Yep -- put pen to paper. Or finger to keyboard as it turns out.

In a new first-of-its-kind study published in the journal Obesity about 140 participants trialled something called 'dietary self-monitoring' which is just a fancy way of saying they wrote down everything, they ate every single day for half a year.

And we mean everything -- the calories and fat for all foods and beverages they consumed, as well as the portion sizes and the preparation methods.

Sounds like a bit of a drag, right?

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"People hate it; they think it's onerous and awful, but the question we had was: 'How much time does dietary self-monitoring really take?'" said Jean Harvey, chair of the Nutrition and Food Sciences Department at the University of Vermont and the lead author of the study.

Well turns out the answer is, not much time at all.

In the first month of the program, participants spent an average of about 23 minutes a day filling in their food diaries.

They also stuck to a low‐calorie, low‐fat diet and did 200 minutes of exercise a week. 

By the sixth month, the participants had whittled their diary time down to just 15 minutes.

Harvey put the drop in time down to participants getting into the swing of journalling -- and the ease of the online program they were using.

That's not the only thing that had whittled down, either. Those who'd been most dedicated to their diaries -- writing three or more times a day -- lost up to 10 percent of their body weight.

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This is the first study to prove that not only does dietary self-monitoring actually work but that it doesn't have to take too much time out of your day.

'Cause who has endless hours to journal about our lunch? No one. But 15 mins spread out over a day? Definitely do-able.

Even then, it's more about being consistent with the updates rather than how much time you clock in writing each day.

"It seems to be the act of self-monitoring itself that makes the difference -- not the time spent or the details included," Harvey said.

Just remember -- "write it when you bite it."

Feature image: Universal Studios.