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The Pen and Paper Diet

By: The Editors of

What it is: Developed by Michael Dow, The Pen and Paper diet allows you to eat the foods you love and still lose weight. The diet is based on keeping a personal daily log of calorie consumption, which then leads to learning how to eat healthier and exercise more.

How it works: Dow believes that The Pen and Paper Diet is realistic and effective because it allows people to start choosing healthier foods on their own, and lets them eat the foods they crave. He based the diet on research at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center that concluded – more than high-carb, high fat, low-fat and high-protein – the most important factor in losing weight is calorie consumption.

What you do: In order to keep track of calorie consumption, dieters write down everything they eat in a journal. During the first few weeks, dieters are allowed to continue to eat as they normally would and exercise is not required. Dieters then use The Pen and Paper Diet book to help determine their calorie budget, the maximum number of calories they should consume per day. Once dieters are used to maintaining a calorie log, the focus of the diet shifts to healthy eating and exercise and dieters work to stay within their calorie budget.

Benefits: There is little time investment and this diet does not require much of a lifestyle change for most people. Dow also provides dieters with calorie information for many popular foods and restaurant items.

The Down Side: There have been no studies to prove the effectiveness of The Pen and Paper Diet.

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