If you’re looking to drop a few pounds then one of the best ways to do it is by keeping a food journal. This means writing down every single thing you put in your mouth for a few day, a week or even a month. Why is this so effective? Because the journal doesn’t lie. The first time I ever kept a food diary I was truly shocked at how much food I was consuming in a day. After I saw it in black and white I could no longer lie to myself. It only took a few days of food journaling and I was able to make the necessary adjustments and start really losing weight. Here are a few tips for getting started:
- Write in your food diary immediately after eating. Don’t depend on your memory for this. Carry your food log with you so you’ll be able to write everything down no matter where you are. Bring your food diary with you when you go to restaurants.
- Provide as much detail as possible regarding all food eaten. For example, instead of writing “1 slice of bread with peanut butter”, write “1 slice of whole wheat bread with 2 Tbsp. of peanut butter”. Instead of “1 chicken breast”, write “4 oz. chicken breast, baked”.
- Note how food was prepared. Baked, fried, breaded, or sautéed can make a big difference in number of calories and carbohydrates. It is also important to write down what was used in the preparation of all foods. Oils, butter, salt and spices are all significant. Omit nothing.
- Become a label reader. High fructose corn syrup, sugar, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils all need to be noted.
- Note all snacks.
- Write down all beverages consumed and amounts.
Remember to not write what you think you should be eating. Write what you really ate. No one is going to see this but you.