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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.