Diet News

A food diary can help you lose weight

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Many of us are familiar with the slogan: “You are what you eat.” It can’t be forgotten as it is thrown at you almost every time you consider a diet or lifestyle change.

Although those 5 simple words seem rather harmless on their own, together they do represent a powerful statement. They could be considered valuable advice, or maybe even a warning that we should pay attention to the foods we put into your body.

Indeed, eating can bring many joys, but also terrible distress, especially for people with weight problems. As medical studies have shown, obesity and extreme weight gain can cause devastating health risks.  

Dieters or individuals who want to improve their lifestyle can use many tools to monitor their progress. Food calorie counter systems monitor the nutritional value of their foods; while exercise calorie counters help determine how many calories are lost while performing physical activities. Exercise planners are designed to target body areas that need improvements with achievable routines, whereas meal planners create menus that are tasty, yet healthy.

Although that seems quite an assortment of weight loss tools, one thing is missing: a food diary. Food dairies are a great way to develop a healthy relationship with the foods we consume every day. They are a great help to those struggling with losing weight or want to overcome binge eating.



Low GI diet, high protein diet, vegetarian diet, South Beach, Atkins, Weight Watchers, they are all top diets. Most of today’s diet programs recommend keeping a food diary for the following reasons:

-          Helps to determine fat, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and other nutritional values of your food

-          Can identify your problem areas and weaknesses

-          Assesses the reasons for excess eating and other eating disorders

-          Will pinpoint lapses in your diet

-          Is a great tool to measure your progress

-          Tracks your portion sizes and snacks

-          Records your emotions after meals

-          It is the key to finding a diet you can live with long-term.

By recording every bite you eat in a journal, you will get an exact overview of what types of foods you consume on a daily basis. The longer you catalogue your food consumption, the more you will see patterns emerge. For example, if you notice that you are snacking every day around 3 PM try to either defeat that urge by distracting yourself with an outdoor activity like a long walk, or replace your chocolate chip cookies with a non-fat yogurt, a vegetable tray or fruit.

A food diary can be as simple as writing down your food and beverage intake in a notebook, recording them on a spreadsheet, or by keeping your information on specialized sites online. When copying your food consumption you will need to include everything, including condiments, milk and sugar in coffee and tea, alcoholic beverages, etc. Also, keep paper and pen handy when eating out.

Starting a food diary is possibly the most important step you can take toward developing a healthier lifestyle. It will not only contribute to weight loss success, but will also help you keep your weight stable once you have reached your weight objective.

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