One of the most important tools to guide you in your process to lose weight is your Food Diary. In the next 8 weeks or however long your goal is to lose weight, your Food Dairy is your best friend. It should be with you wherever you go. Keeping a food diary is a very effective way and my recommended way to keep track of how much calories you are currently consuming to lose weight quick.
The more on track you are with your food dairy, the more on track you are with your weight lost goal.
There are several of ways to make a food diary. You can either write it down which is what I would do or if you want to be more creative, you van take photos of your food and even video tape your weight loss journey.
So how to start a food Diary. Here is my Sample of my food diary and Let’s go through each column in my food diary.
What I Ate
Write it right after you bite it. That way, you won’t forget anything, especially quantities. Write everything including ketchup sauce, salad dressings, your drinks etc. Be honest and do not cheat. Everything that goes into your mouth has an effect to your weight loss.
Portion Size / Calories
Be specific. Record the type and amount of food in as much detail as possible, especially portion sizes; list “3 digestive biscuts,” rather than “a handful,” or “35gram of crisps” rather than “one packet.”
Record the calories by checking the food labels or other standard calorie-counting guides. If you are unsure of a certain food calories, there are many calorie-counting websites and apps around. It’s better to add up the calories as you go, rather than waiting until later; that way you’ll know how much you’ve eaten and not to over consumed by the end f the day. But if you don’t have time to calculate each time, don’t sweat it. Do the best you can, and add up the numbers at the end of the day.
Home Cooked / Where I ate
So did you prep the meal yourself? If not, where did you get it from, was it a quick on the go bite or did you go to a restaurant with your friends and family. The amount you eat is hugely affected by your lifestyle as well as who you eat them with. If you are with people who eat big portions, chances are you will want to join in and eat big portions as well. If you go to a buffet, chances are, you will eat more than what your body needs in order to get good value for money. So record down where the meals were consumed because you might be surprise how often you are eating out / eating on the go.
How hungry are you? Very? Or just right? Or are you constantly eating even if you are not hungry?
Why I ate
Did you eat because you were hungry? Or out of boredom? Stress? Emotional issues? Comfort eating? It is very important to know why you eat because this is the key to your weight loss, which I’ll explain later on in the video. Ideally, you should be eating when you feel slightly hungry and not out of emotions.
How did you feel?
Satisfy after a meal? Still hungry? If so, you might be under eating? Stuffed? Then you are overeating and need to cut down on your portion size to lose weight. Guilty? Disappointed? Was it because you gave into temptations or emotionally eating? Write down how you feel. We want to keep the positive feelings, and eliminate the negative feelings as we progress towards your goal. Food should not be a comfort, neither should it be your enemy, Food should be something that you can enjoy in moderation and provides the nutrient and energy your body needs.
Now that you know how to keep a food dairy, these are my 5 reasons why you should keep a food diary especially in the initially stage of your weight loss program.
1. Your Food Diary Will Show You everything you eat
So don’t cheat. Write every single thing that you eat including a piece of sweet, a can of diet coke, basically everything that goes into your mouth. You might think that you know what you eat everyday, but when you start journaling your food, you’ll be surprise on how much calories you might consume for example from your drinks and might not even know it. You probably even think you could guess the number of calories that you take in through your meals. But the truth is that most people tend to consume more calories that they think. Especially if you are trying to lose weight, keeping track of these calories is what's most important.
2. Your Food Diary Can Help You Lose Weight
By seeing exactly what you eat everyday, you can start to cut certain types of food that’s packing on the weight. It might be one drink that’s packing on a lot of calories like your favourite energy drink to keep you going perhaps? Starbucks coffee? Your favourite chocolate bar? Or even an energy bar that you think might be healthy that’s containing lots of calories. By taking this into account, you can cut these calories out and finding healthy alternatives for your diet. You might be surprise how much calories you can cut out just by eliminating one high calorie food that you are currently eating.
3. Your Food Diary Will Show You What You Need To Eat & Cut Down
Writing down what you eat will tell you whether you might be lacking in protein perhaps? And you might be eating too much of carbs and fat? Are you skipping lunch too often and then have a huge dinner? Are you having your breakfast? Are you only eating when you are very hungry which does not help in losing weight either.
Writing a food diary will all help you to reshape your eating habits into eating 5 small portions per day between every 3 – 4 hours and making sure that you are having a balance of carbs, protein and fat in each meal.
4. Your Food Diary Will Keep You on Track
You may not realize it right away, but over time, your food diary will actually make you want to eat healthier. Every time you write down a food that has a lot of calories in it, you'll want to avoid doing it in the future. And when you know you have over eaten today, you might want to cut back tomorrow or do some workouts to burn the fat off. Your food diary can actually help you to look at food in a whole new different way as you would start to respect and care for your body even more.
5. Your Food Diary will Revealed Your Emotions
Some of you might be eat to keep you going through the day and you do not really care about what goes into your body. On the other hand, by writing a food dairy and writing down why you eat what you eat, you might realize that you tend to munch a lot out of stress perhaps, boredom or when you are feeling sad and down about yourself.
For me, this is the most important point in writing a food journal – to discover your relationship with food. If you know that you are an emotional eater, before you can go on a weight loss journey, you must deal with your personal issue. What is it that triggers you to eat? Do not be afraid to look at your problem, be open about it, perhaps speak to someone that can help you out and consciously tell yourself that the life you want should not be determine by this issue. It should not hold you back from your weight loss goal and that you are much more worth it and stronger than this. Most people fail to see results when they fall back to their old habits and old issues that are holding them back from living their potential. By dealing with your emotional and mental hindrance, your weight loss goal will be within reach. It's one of the best reasons you should want to start a food diary today.
If you can, try to keep your food dairy handy as you want to be able to bring it with you everywhere. If you can’t, record it in your phone and update your dairy later on.