You have probably heard or read about the importance of keeping a food journal or a diet diary where you faithfully jot down all that you eat and how keeping such a record of your caloric intake will help you lose weight.
Studies have demonstrated the importance of food diaries and the difference they can make to a diet or a weight loss program and this is due to several reasons:
- You are less likely to cheat on a diet when you know you have to record faithfully, all that you eat; including snacks, an unplanned dessert, finishing baby food or what get left behind on junior’s plate; everything!
- A diary gives you a very realistic idea of your daily calorie consumption. You may actually be eating more than you think, and may despair of not losing weight.With a food diary, you will realize how much you have been actually eating; which will explain your lack of progress and motivate you to keep to the program better.
- A food diary helps one take responsibility and also helps to get a feeling of control over a weight loss program. You are able to identify eating patterns more accurately which will be able to offer revealing insight into the reasons for failure and success. It is also able to tell you accurately what works for you and what doesn’t
- You can face your food choices better and with more clarity when you record what and how much you have eaten and then you are less able to blame others, or your genes, or circumstances for lack of progress. A food diary, in a sense, holds up a mirror to ourselves so that we are less able to evade the truth of our own actions
- It is often just ignorance or forgetfulness (which may at times be willful or deliberate) that causes us to eat more than we need to or are meant to. A faithful recording of all that we eat (obviously you have to be fully honest with yourself here and record everything) does in fact present a true picture.This is not possible if you try to make a rough calculation of what you eat in a day, based on what you remember (or don’t remember) having eaten in a given day – it is far more accurate when you have an actual written record