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Mission 23: Keep A Food Diary

I’ve found this to be a very helpful strategy in losing weight and keeping it off.

Don’t worry – I’m not going to ask you to count calories, or share the contents of your diary, or even to look back over your entries if you don’t want to.

Well then, if we’re not going to do any of those things, then why bother keeping a food diary at all?

Here are several excellent reasons why.

– 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, goal-friendly choices – so that’s some nice positive reinforcement

– Tracking your food can give you helpful 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.

As we discussed in Mission 10: Keep A Log, Blog Or Journal, we’re interested in observing, not judging. Observing is how you can discover the particular combination of diet, exercise and mindset that will work for you.

Now that we know why it’s a good idea to keep your food diary, let’s spend this mission learning how to do it effectively.


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4 thoughts on “Mission 23: Keep A Food Diary

  1. Terry Currie says:

    Our group has decided the following for reasons to keep a food journal. Unless there is a medical reason to keep a food journal many people do not take the time. These are the reasons why you should:
    Tracks your calorie intake
    Tracks your daily progress
    Keeps you motivated and accountable for your actions
    This tells you what you are doing right
    This tells you what areas you need to change
    Recognizes you’re eating patterns
    Our food categories:
    Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner Exercise

  2. Kylie Browne says:

    I’m a mindless eater so I’m not too keen on this mission! This is going to highlight all my ‘invisible calories’. There’s no hiding from this now… I think I should revisit Mission 2 and get back on that reality train.

  3. Terry Currie says:

    Unless you have a medical reason keeping a food diary is a personal choice and a commitment. The following is suggestions from my group: A food diary should include breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, exercise, how your food was cooked i.e. baked. broiled, fried, grilled or microwaved. Also, include sauces, spreads, dressings and condiments. You are observing what you eat over a period of time and then adjusting your food to healthy choices that will help you lose weight.
    Health benefits of pepper, which is a spice which improves digestion and promotes intestinal health.
    Mustard is better than mayonnaise and ketchup = mustard has no fat or sugar = mayonnaise and ketchup have sugar.
    Garlic builds resistance to diseases and deeps germs away.
    Taking fish oil pill daily is a natural mood pill and good for cholesterol.

  4. Danielle Desjardins says:

    I have already been keeping a food diary for 120 days + now and really discovering what foods I should keep away from. Buffet are still a challenge for me even if I stick to vegetables. Homemade foods are hard to calculate in calories, but lower in sodium than processed foods.

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