Why should I keep a food diary?
Several studies have shown that people who keep food diaries are more likely to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off.
Keeping a food diary increased your awareness of what, how much and why you are eating.
A diary can help people identify areas where they can make changes that will help them lose or maintain weight. People often dont realise where all their calories are coming from. I regularly get told ‘I dont eat that much so I dont know why i keep putting weight on.’
A diary can also help identify patterns of overeating especially if you combine the diary with lifestyle events. (menstruation, trauma, stress, even certain days of the week)
Food diaries are very useful in identifying triggers which you can plan to avoid such as eating in front of the TV, snacking in the car or eating snacks when drinking alcohol.
Are you a secret eater (from yourself)? Who are you trying to kid?
You need to step up and be honest with yourself if you want any sort of long term success.
I often get asked… ‘how can I stop myself snacking?’
One of the options is write a food diary and be totally and completely honest with yourself.
8 steps to diary success
1. Know why you are writing a food diary and be on board with it. (not just because someone has told you to)
2. Chose your format (digital or plain old pen and paper)
3. Decide how often to update. As you eat, before you eat or after you eat.
4. Maintain the detail you want to analyse in a week, month, 6 months time.
5. BE HONEST
6. BE ACCURATE
7. Be aware of your own potholes. Be mindful of when you are less likely to be honest with yourself or the times you cant be bothered.
8. Schedule regular reviews and stick to them.
What we eat affects how we feel. Food should make us feel good. It tastes great and nourishes our bodies.
If you eat too little or eat too much, however, your health and quality of life could be affected. This can result in negative feelings toward food and our bodies.
By learning how to make healthier and more mindful choices, you may be able to control compulsive eating, binging and weight gain. By taking charge of your appetite, you may also gain a feeling of calm, high energy levels and alertness from the foods you eat.
I am not saying that writing a food diary will fix all your problems. Far from it, but what it is, is a tool in your toolbox of strategies that are going to aid your long term weight goals.