It’s difficult to imagine that what dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner calls documenting “every crumb, morsel, nibble, sip, swallow and bite you take” is a sustainable weight-loss solution. In fact, evidence shows that it’s not (“Using food diaries doubles weight loss, study shows,” Life, Tuesday).

The study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that praised the dieting success of individuals who documented everything they ate reported results after six months. Though most people can lose weight (with or without food diaries), keeping it off is much harder to do.
Exercise’s track record beats dieting hands down. The National Weight Control Registry — the group that tracks Americans who have effectively lost weight — reports that a common formula for success among its members is not how little they eat or how often they record their food, but how much they move.

Healthy doesn’t mean cataloging every snack. It’s about all our small, daily choices: turning off the TV, climbing the stairs and taking that extra step.