Day 26: Keep A Food Diary | 30-Day Weight Loss-athon

It’s time for Day 26 of the 30-Day Weight Loss-athon.

All tasks in the 30-Day Weight Loss-athon are adapted from my 52 Weight Loss Missions program.

Read the steps first, then take 10 minutes to complete them.

Move fast, act quickly and stop over-thinking. Ready?

What You Need:

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

You could:

  • 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.

Step 3

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.
    For example:

    • 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?

Check in!

And you’re done!

Be sure to leave your comment below to check in and stay accountable. If you’re reading this by email or in a reader then please click here to leave your comment.

See you tomorrow!

Michele Connolly

Michele Connolly helps people move from procrastination to action. She believes that taking action on your priorities makes you a happier person. Michele is the founder of Get Organized Wizard and creator of tools for business, home, and personal organization. Her programs are used by tens of thousands of people worldwide.

59 thoughts on “Day 26: Keep A Food Diary | 30-Day Weight Loss-athon

  1. Suzie Waltner says:

    I do great at keeping a food diary UNTIL I over eat or eat chat I shouldn’t! I’m learning to write it all down no matter what! As the say in WW, “If you bite it, write it!”

  2. Nancy Nethercott says:

    This has been one of the most helpful things for me to do especially because I cook/bake a lot for my work (and pleasure!) which means I HAVE taste things to see if they are “right”…but, I don’t need to taste as much as I do ;-).

  3. Janet Lovvorn Miller says:

    I have done this in the past and am going to restart now….with this month’s actions I have become more mindful of the things I eat so maybe I won’t be so ashamed of what I have to write down. It will be a positive instead of a negative for me now.

  4. Joanna Holkar-Guevara says:

    This is not as difficult as I thought it would be. I have been keeping a log of ALMOST everything online. Now I will pull out that pocket notebook and jot down everything, before I eat it. That way I will try my best not to have seconds or cheat.

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