Keeping a diet journal is a tried and true method of losing weight without even thinking about it. It’s true that you will lose more by having a diet plan and sticking to it but it you are not up to that stage yet, a diet diary will be a great first step.
You will find, as many other people have, that keeping a diet journal will help you to make healthier choices at meal times and also will interfere with the urge to snack at certain times of day or under certain types of stress.
The basic idea of a food diary is to write down everything you eat without judging yourself or holding back anything you find embarrassing. This is a good preparation for going on a diet because it gives you a very clear idea of what needs to be included or excluded when you actually start dieting.
This video will help you to understand why a diet journal will help you:
A simple dietary goal might be:
Drink half a dozen glasses of water every day.
Cut down on, or go without, alcohol and coffee.
Eat three varieties of fruit and vegetables each day.
Now, you have the list of aims written down and you have made the decision to stick to it. Let’s get clear on what the next step is -
KEEPING A DIET DIARY MEANS WRITING DOWN WHAT YOU EAT AND DRINK WHETHER YOU ARE FOLLOWING YOUR DIET OR NOT!
A diet journal need not be complicated. The simplest way to go about it is to write down the food you eat as you are putting it on the plate. So, the only equipment you need is a pen and a note pad. Making an entry in your journal before you eat interferes with the well-established actions and reactions inside us that are parts of preparing and eating meals and snacks, so your diary will help you to see clearly where you are in relation to your dieting.
You can also make a template for a food journal on your computer if you have Excel. Here is a tutorial on making a food journal template.
Here is a site that has a variety of printable diet journals
If you are suddenly overcome by the urge to eat a bar of chocolate on a day you decided to eat no sweets, you write it down. There is your record. No excuses just the bare fact that you ate chocolate. Keeping this record will help you to stick to your diet next time or the time after.
But it is quite likely that you will find that you have lost weight automatically, simply through making the very small effort to keep the food journal. Just like magic.
Here is a useful site for instantly finding the calory value of any food and comparing the calorie counts of varieties of food. This way you can make up your mind which food fits in with your dietary aims.
Just visit http://www.twofoods.com/ and type in the name of the food you want to check on. If you are not sure about this, here is a typical comparison:
Remember that the essential part of this exercise is writing down every single thing you eat. Do not leave anything out because, for instance, you think a little snack was a “one-off” occasion. Reading your diet diary will show you what was one-off.
This video will show in detail how to fill out your food journal: