When you’re trying to lose weight, one of the smartest and easiest steps you can take is to keep a food diary. A food diary is just like what it sounds—a notebook in which you record your daily food intake. You can track of a number of things in your food diary or you can keep it simple, but in either case, this is a great way in which to help yourself stick to a weight loss plan.
There are a number of pieces of information you can record in your food diary. First, consider just listing your daily menu. This will help you actually see what you eat on any given day and notice patterns of unhealthy eating that you never considered before. Some like to also record calories, protein, fiber, fat, and other nutrients. Portion size may be recorded as well. If you truly want to use diary format, you can also list the reasons you’re eating other than hunger, the cravings you experience, and your feelings about your diet on any given day. It’s your diary, so do what is right for you.
When you start a food diary, keep in mind that you don’t have to keep a traditional journal by the bed with a lock and key. You can use whatever kind of recording and writing tools you like best. For some people, the traditional journal or just a plain notebook works fine. You can also keep a food diary on your computer. Simply open up a word processing program and keep the icon on your desktop. Others like to use Excel or other data entry programs, which help quiet a lot when it comes to adding totals at the end of the day. Yu can keep your food diary on a laptop or palm pilot, or slip a notebook into your bag during the day—whatever works best for your lifestyle.
Remember to update your food diary very day and review it at the end of each week in order to track your progress. You may wish to note in your diary when you hit certain weight loss goals or when you gain weight in order to look for causes. You can show your diary to professionals to make sure that you are staying healthy as well. Food diaries work great for many people, so you should consider starting one today in order to lose the most weight possible.