A new report published in February 2019 by the University of Vermont and the University of South Carolina says, “If you want to lose weight the single best predictor of success is monitoring and recording your calorie and fat intake throughout the day -- to "write it when you bite it."

Despite seen as “unpleasant and time-consuming”, the most successful participants “…spent an average of just 14.6 minutes per day on the activity.”

The report found that, “What was most predictive of weight-loss success was not the time spent monitoring – those who took more time and included more detail did not have better outcomes – but the frequency of log-ins.”

One of the researchers said, “Those who self-monitored three or more time per day, and were consistent day after day, were the most successful,” and, “It seems to be the act of self-monitoring itself that makes the difference – not the time spent or the details included.”