18 Dec Conquer your diet with a food diary
How to conquer your diet with a food diary
There are several reasons why keeping a food diary can help you to lose weight. As a dietitian I often recommend that my clients keep a food diary. Here are some of the reasons why keeping a food diary can directly impact on your weight loss. Click here for your free food diary template FREE WEEKLY FOOD DIARY or here for your free food and feelings template FREE FOOD AND FEELINGS DIARY
How a food diary can keep you accountable for your weight loss
This is an important part of any weight loss plan. Without accountability you are not answerable for your actions. And if you aren’t answerable for your actions then it doesn’t matter if you ‘cheat’. Keeping a food diary helps to keep you on track by holding you accountable for what you eat. Research has shown that writing down what you eat improves decision making and therefore improves the choices that you make.
Learn about your weight loss habits
Eating is often an unconscious process. You feel hungry and so you eat. Or you don’t feel hungry and you eat anyway. By writing down what you eat you are made aware of what you eating habits are. This way you can identify patterns that need to be corrected. You can also capitalise on your good habits and make them your more dominant eating behaviour.
Think before you eat
If you have to write down what you eat you ate far more likely to think twice before you eat rather than eating without considering the consequence
Be honest about what you are eating
If you honestly track what you are eating you are able to fix problems in your diet because the issues are a lot more obvious than if you haven’t written it down. Writing down what you eat gives you an awareness of what you are eating that you otherwise might not have.
Keep track of food and snacks to maximise your weight loss
When the day gets busy it’s surprisingly easy to forget what you have or haven’t eaten. This is especially relevant for snacks which can easily sneak into your day without you being consciously aware of them. The little extras during the day add up surprisingly quickly so make sure to write these down too.
Mindful eating for weight loss
If you tend to eat little bits the whole day, writing what you are eating down helps you to keep track. Often people don’t even consider a handful of something as a snack. The problem is that the handfuls add up. Keeping a diary therefore helps to keep mindless snacking at bay
Are you drinking your calories?
Don’t forget these! If you are drinking your calories rather than eating them, writing this information down really helps to curb this. One of my pet peaves is drinking your calories rather than eating them. Personally I would rather chew my food, but that’s just me… This is where writing down your food as well as your fluid intake can be extremely valuable
Keep track of your water intake
That old adage of drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water is somewhat true. Drinking water is important metabolically and it is important for weight loss. Not everyone’s water is necessarily the same. It depends on how active you are, how hot it is, your size etc. The main thing is to make sure that you are adequately hydrated and you definitely want to avoid dehydration.
Is a calorie counter necessary?
Portion control is a key factor in weight loss. Writing down how much you have eaten helps you keep track of this. Just remember that healthy eating alone often isn’t enough to shift your weight. Calories definitely count! You have to account for the amount that you eat. So it’s also therefore very important to write your portions down as accurately as you can and if necessary download a calorie counter.
A food diary has a direct link to weight loss
Studies have shown that people who keep food diaries do better on their diets. Simple as that!
Document your weight loss journey in your food diary
Yes writing a food diary can be a pain. It’s inconvenient and it may embarrass you or make you feel ashamed. But you should always remember that it is a means to an end and it is there to help you and to make you accountable. Just try to keep in mind why food diaries are useful and don’t worry if you slip up. We are all human. Just pick up and move on!
If you would like help with the planning aspect of you diet then check out these amazing planners which have been designed to make your weight loss journey that much easier: Dinner planner 1; Dinner planner 2 or this FREE MONTHLY MEAL PLANNER to plan your meals for the month. I have also just written a book called Ultimate Weight Loss Guide which has meal plans, recipes and planners, for a month, all in one.
I hope that this article has been useful and that going forward you fill in you food diary to help you to lose weight. Chat soon, Leanne xoxo