Without following a particular diet, overweight people who tracked daily food consumption using a free smartphone app lost a significant amount of weight in a new Duke University study.
Participants were not instructed to follow a particular diet, but instead were given broad advice on healthy eating, and were asked to simply monitor what they ate.
Researchers suspect two factors helped participants follow through on their weight-loss goals. First, researchers helped participants set specific goals, including tailored calorie targets, and losing 5 percent of their initial body weight. Second, the dieters received automatic in-app reminders to log their meals each day.
The study made use of a free, commercially available app called MyFitnessPal.