Making Food Diary Useful for Weight LossChange. That’s the key to weight loss. If you don’t improve your diet, you’ll never be a healthy person and you’ll remain the person you are right now: obese, fat, and rotund.
That said, you need to embrace change. One way to embrace changes in your life is to jot them down by creating a food diary. It’s a proven way to assist you in achieving your weight loss goal.
Unfortunately, for some dieters, keeping a food diary would seem like a heavy task that’s difficult to endure. But a food diary is a useful tool to make eating a more conscious act.
This will help you track what you’re eating, how much and when you eat. The information will offer you real insight about where the extra weight is really coming from. With the help of food diary, you’ll easily recognize how small adjustment in your eating habit can make a difference to your weight loss goal.
If keeping a food diary is a major problem of yours, then you might want to heed to these tips to help you out.
Know what type of diary you’d like to use
That is, know which medium you’d want to use. You can opt for the traditional diary, i.e. pen and a notebook. But some successful dieters who have lost significant amount of weight believed that having personal digital assistants helped them best in taking down notes of what they’re eating.
But the use of technology may not work best for you. What’s important here is to find a medium that works well for you. You can opt for an online journal or the traditional method. I used the former as it gives me nutritional facts of how much calories there are in a certain food. My personal favorite is Sparkpeople. It’s free and it has suggestions on what to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack that can meet my target calorie intake each day.
Jot it down immediately
Don’t wait for a few hours or a few days for you to write down what you’ve just eaten. Whether it’s just a piece of apple or a pack of M&Ms, you need to write it down immediately. This will make sure that your food diary is an effective tool in helping you lose weight.
According to those who have used food diary as their way to lose weight successfully, recording of the food they’ve eaten is more accurate if they’ve written it down immediate after eating, instead of recalling the foods from memory at the end of the day.
When you record it while you’re eating the food, it’ll surely help you change the amount of eat you want to consume at the next meal. Keep in mind that small forgotten calories can already cause weight gain. So, jot it down as soon as you put the food in your mouth.
Know what to write down
Apart from jotting down the food you’ve just eaten, you’ll also need to record its calories, the amount of sugar it contains, as well as the fats. You must keep a record of the total number of those elements for the day. Plus, you’ll have to take write down the time of the day you’ve eaten that food.
The time could somehow explain why you’re still not losing weight even though you’ve already consumed fewer calories. It could be that eating hours before bed is the reason you just couldn’t lose those extra pounds.
Experts also recommend recording how you were feeling while you were eating that food. For instance, if you ate a pack of chips because of your lack of sleep, it could somehow determine why you’re still not losing weight. Keep in mind that moods and activities can either lead you to eat fewer or more calories each day.
Invest in a food scale
It won’t cost you that much. A food scale can be bought in less than $10. With this equipment, you can make accurate portion size so it’ll be in line with your calorie count. Keep in mind that a 4-ounce of chicken or meat may appear to be smaller or larger than you think.
When measuring your portions, you must not forget about the food you’ve eaten while dining out with your friends. You may not be able to track the exact nutritional information of each food. But it’ll help you get an accurate snapshot of your day’s calorie intake by recording all food you’ve eaten on that day.
When you practice measuring your food portions for your food diary at home, you’ll find that you can easily estimate your portion size when dining out. Some restaurants do provide nutritional listing of the food they serve. You may ask them about it. If they don’t have any, you can go online and find the information that you want. Some restaurants provide nutritional facts of each of the food they serve through their website. You may also browse several websites of food experts as most of them analyze and examine number of calories of some famous food meals.
One of the websites I go to when I want to know the number of calories of the food I’m eating is Caloriecount. It has nutrition facts of some popular foods. For instance, if I’d want to know the calories of Mc Donald’s French fries medium-sized, I’d just type in French Fries McDonald’s and the website would show me the calories per serving, total fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, dietary fiber and sugars. What’s great about this site is that it also provides information about good points and bad points of each food. For French fries of McDo, the site gave it a Grade D+ and its good points include no sugar and cholesterol.
Food diary has helped me keep track of the calories I take each day. You can use it, too, to help you lose weight. But this will only work if you’re honest with yourself and have the time to do thorough recording of what you’re eating. Once you get the hang of jotting down each food you consume, you’d find that a few adjustments or tweaking to your eating habit could either make or break your weight loss goal. If you’re really serious about losing weight and you use food diary effectively, you could drop those stubborn pounds so you could fit in that small-sized dress you’ve been dying to wear for your special date.