If you don’t already, you should try keeping a food journal. It’s a great, revealing tool that will aid you in weight loss and nutrition management. I started keeping a food diary when I did Weight Watchers a few years back. We tell all of our patients at work to keep one as they begin their weight loss journeys. It’s sort of like when you start a budget and track your spending to see where all your money goes. You’re shocked when you see that you spend $100 a month and $1200 a year at Starbucks. It’s a very eye-opening experience. Keeping a food journal is based on the same concept. You might be surprised at how much and how often you’re eating.
Here’s the scoop…a recent study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine shows that tracking your diet in a journal can help double your weight loss. Yes, DOUBLE! Dr. Andrew Weil detailed the study on his blog this week (www.drweilblog.com).
Starting your daily food journal is simple. A lot of us are gadget and technology savvy so I suggest using your smartphone to track what you’re eating. In addition the the notepad, there are apps such as Sparkpeople and FatSecret that allow you to enter your food intake for free. You can also utilize the free tracking tools on www.mypyramid.gov. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with plain ‘ole pen and paper. Whichever method you choose, try it out for a week or so to determine where you might be able to cut back. Be sure to record everything you put in your mouth, including drinks. A lot of what we drink contains empty calories that take away from all of the yummy food you could be eating. Also, write down all of your snacks. Some of us are what I like to call “grazers”. They snack on things, good and bad, all day long. By the end of the day, they often can’t recall all that they’ve consumed and have no idea how many calories they have taken in. Keeping a food journal helps remedy all of that. I can say from personal experience that it works and you’ll be glad that you did it!