Using Writing as Therapy: Weight Loss



A study by Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research which was funded by The National Institutes of Health shows that those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records.  “The more food records people kept, the more weight they lost,” said lead author Jack Hollis, Ph.D.  “It seems that the simple act of writing down what you eat encourages people to consume fewer calories.”

“Keeping a food diary doesn’t have to be a formal thing.  Just the act of scribbling down what you eat on a Post-It-note, sending yourself e-mails tallying each meal, or sending yourself a text message will suffice.  It’s the process of reflecting on what you eat that helps us become aware of our habits, and hopefully change our behavior,” says Keith Bachman, MD, a Weight Management Initiative member.  “Every day I hear patients say they can’t lose weight.  This study shows that most people can lose weight  if they have the right tools and support.  And food journaling in conjunction with a weight management program or class is the ideal combination of tools and support.”

Imagine the possibilities if you incorporated a food journal within the Thinking Anew process.  The act of writing down what you are doing combined with what you desire, will fuel the excitement and enthusiasm that creates awareness within us of how we get what we get.  We are creatures of habit.  When the habit of writing, expecting and achieving what we want becomes fixed, an exaggerated knowing becomes constantly present in each moment.  If we have the discipline to augment this process by carrying a small tune-up pad in which we restate and reinforce our desires by writing them down again in moments of doubt or negative thinking, you will find yourself doing what you at first thought was impossible.