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It’s time for Day 26 of the 30-Day Weight Loss-athon.
Read the steps first, then take 10 minutes to complete them.
Move fast, act quickly and stop over-thinking. Ready?
What You Need:
- Pen and notebook, or
- Smartphone app, or
- Interactive Diet & Exercise Diary from your 52 Weight Loss Missions Action Pack.
First, let’s work out why we should keep a food diary.
Here are several excellent reasons.
- People often underestimate how much they eat – so this is a great way to get real.
- Having to write down what you eat can help arrest mindless eating – and mindless eating can be a major factor in overeating.
- It can feel very rewarding when you fill in healthful, weight-loss-friendly choices – so that’s some nice positive reinforcement
- Tracking your food can give you helpful weight-loss insights into problem foods or problem times of day
- Writing down everything you eat can suddenly reveal ‘invisible’ calories you never acknowledged before – such as tasting while cooking, finishing kids’ meals, the true extent of snacking (you ate 25 cashews, not just a few).
- Research shows that tracking your food intake can enhance weight-loss success.
Importantly, keeping a food diary is not meant to make you feel bad; it’s meant to give you information.
Next, let’s decide where to keep your food diary. Choose one, or experiment with several to find one that fits seamlessly into your life.
- Use a small notebook or food diary you can keep in your purse. Keep a pen handy so you can jot down your entries wherever you are.
- Download one of the many apps available on smart phones. Search food diary or food tracker in the app store. Note: you don’t need to use calorie-tracking functions unless you want to.
- Use the Interactive Diet & Exercise Diary from your 52 Weight Loss Missions Action Pack. Use the interactive features to enter text from your computer or iPad, or print it out and write by hand.
The key to using your food diary successfully – so it aids your weight loss – is to leave nothing out.
These tips will help:
- Use it every day, for everything you eat. I’ll say it again so there can be no misunderstanding: Everything you eat.
- Record your entry immediately after eating, so nothing is forgotten. Make this a habit.
- Be descriptive, saying small, medium or large; number of items, spoons, cups; etc.
- Medium apple
- 1.5 chocolate bars
- 25 cashew nuts
- Large bowl of cereal
- Small skim cappuccino.
- Include the method of cooking – baked, grilled, fried, etc.
- Remember to include sauces, spreads, dressings, condiments, etc.
- Include drinks (juices, tea, coffee, alcohol), and their sizes. For coffee and tea include added milk, sugar, syrups, etc.
- Be sure to record everything – meals, snacks, tasting while cooking, finishing kids’ meals, etc. If you think you don’t eat much, this may be eye-opening – and therefore useful information in your weight-loss success.
If you already keep a food diary, what will you do differently?
If you don’t, will you start today?
And you’re done!
See you tomorrow!