Keeping a food diary is one of the best tools you can use in your weight loss and maintenance efforts. In order to truly loose weight, and maintain the loss, you need to first understand the root problem of your weight issues. From there, you’ll work toward making changes. Keeping a food diary essentially helps you to do both. In the beginning stage, you’ll discover the problems in your current diet and understand what changes you need to make simply by looking at what you’ve written down. After the initial stage, maintaining a food diary will help you to solve your diet issues and track everything you consume. Here are some tips to help you maintain weight loss with your food diary.
1. Write Down Every Bite You Take
Maintaining a food diary is going to require some commitment on your end. A food diary works to your best advantage when you are consistent and accurate. That handful of M&M’s you ate at work, no matter how small, needs to be entered into your diary. Why? Because the little things add up. By writing down everything you eat, you’ll start to notice trends or patterns. Only when you realize your eating patterns can you begin to make changes. You’re not doing yourself any favors by not keeping an accurate account–unintentionally or intentionally.
2. Plan Daily Meals Based Upon What “Works”
Use your food diary as a tool as you plan your daily menus to maintain your weight. Your food diary serves as a record of what daily meal plans lead you to weight loss. You can go through and see how many calories you consumed each day, and use those entries as future guidance. You may see that you consumed less calories in the afternoon when you ate an apple with your lunch. Look for trends and patterns like these and learn from them as you continue to establish a healthier diet.
3. Pay Close Attention to Your Downfalls
You’re bound to have some days–or weeks–in your food diary that you’re not too proud of. Shame aside, these entries can be very useful tools as you move forward in maintaining your weight. Food diaries are great because they help you better grasp the concepts of calorie intake and portion sizes. Eating a cheeseburger and fries from a local chain restaurant won’t kill your diet–you’re not going to gain weight from eating just one. It’s when you don’t consume things in moderation that weight gain occurs. Generally, eating one high calorie food leads to an eating down spiral.
Often times, people become upset after one one slip up and decide to give up–or give in–to other cravings. Keeping a food diary will help you to avoid this problem. For one thing, you’ll be so proud of yourself after days of healthy eating that you won’t want to cave into your cravings. More than that, though, you’ll be able to plan your indulgences and allocate your calories accordingly.
Starting a food diary is one of the best things you can do as you try to maintain your weight. Begin keeping one to stay in control of your weight–and your life.