Since I have started my weight loss, I have maintained a food diary. It has been immensely instrumental in helping me keep track of what I’ve eaten and how much exercise I have completed in a given day.
Below are reasons why maintaining a food diary is an invaluable weight loss tool:
1. Allows you to monitor your caloric intake. – Losing weight is a simple equation – take in fewer calories than you expend. Monitoring your caloric intake is the first step in lowering it.
2. Encourages you to focus on your food choices. – More often than not we overeat because we are focusing on something other than what we are eating. Writing down what you eat in a food diary forces you to focus on what you are doing.
3. Provides a record you can share with your health care provider. — Your health care provider can look at your food diary and provide insight and information on what you can do to eat healthier. Also, what you are eating may be impacting your health in other ways.
4. Helps you control the urge to binge. – Knowing you are going to have to write down what you eat can stop you from reaching for the second helping of potato chips.
5. Allows you to track your progress. – A food diary can serve as evidence of how far you have come in this journey. It also feels great to look back and see you are eating better today than you did days, weeks or years ago.
6. Encourages mindful eating. – Writing down what you eat encourages you to think about what you are eating. The more you think, the less and better you eat.
7. Creates a means of evaluating the connection between what you eat and how you feel. – You can use a food diary to examine the circumstances and feelings which trigger overeating. Once you identify the causes you can begin doing something about them.
8. Helps you be sure you are getting enough of each food group. — It is important to eat a balanced diet. A food diary can provide clues as to what foods you have been neglecting and need to add to your diet.
9. Assists you in acknowledging the reality of how much you eat. – Keeping a food diary will help you confront the truth about how much you eat. Once you stop kidding yourself about how much you eat, you can begin making the necessary changes.
10. Reinforces your commitment to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. – Each time you make an entry in your food diary you are expressing your intention and desire to do what needs to be done in order to live well.