Keeping a record of your daily food intake will help you stay on track when trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight and activity levels. It also will give your doctor or health care provider a quick way to check your progress.
Known as ‘self-monitoring’, research shows people who keep track of what, when and why they eat, and how active they are, lose weight and keep it off.
Why keep a diary?
Food diaries help you become more aware of your eating and activity habits, and problem areas. They give you a basis from which to plan changes and set goals, and allow you to look back and see what you’ve changed over time. This can be very motivating.
A food and activity diary will also encourage you to make conscious choices about what you eat and do – writing it down gives you the chance to think twice before you act. This is one of the most useful things you can do to help you gain control your weight.
Write down everything you eat and drink over the day.
It’s hard to remember what you’ve eaten at the end of the day, so try to record things as you go. It can also help to make a note of any thoughts or feelings linked to eating, especially if you find you often eat for comfort or when you’re not actually hungry.
Also, make a note of any activity you do over the day that lasts for at least ten minutes. Writing down everything you eat and drink can be difficult. The more honest you are, the more it will help you. It can take a little while to get used to and sometimes it may seem like a waste of time, but it’s worth the effort. If things are going well, you may find you only need to keep it now and then, or if your weight loss goes off track.
People who successfully lose weight and keep it off monitor what they eat and how active they are. This could be in the form of a diary, or in their head. It’s a matter of finding out what works best for you.
Self-monitoring plays a critical role in any weight management programme. A daily food and activity diary can help you learn this important skill. With this excellent tool at your disposal, you can chart your food and fluid intake, record when you’ve consumed your nutritional food products and track the frequency and duration of your physical activity.