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A new study found that keeping a food journal can aid in losing weight.

Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center recruited 123 women for the weight loss study. Results showed that women who kept a journal of the foods they ate were more successful at reaching their weight goals than women who did not journal.

Half of the participants were placed on an exercise program and the other half focused solely on dieting.

Both groups lost ten percent of their starting weight.

Women who kept a food journal loss six pounds more than those who did not keep a food journal. The study also found that women who skipped meals loss eight fewer pounds than women who did not.

In the study, researchers discovered that women who ate out for lunch loss five fewer pounds than those who dined out less.

“Eating in restaurants usually means less individual control over ingredients and cooking methods, as well as larger portion sizes,” said study author Anne McTiernan, MD, PhD.

The study was published in the current issue of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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