In this age of the blogosphere, instant facts via handheld devices and apps for everything imaginable, many health conscious consumers are turning to an old fashioned way of keeping their weight in check: the food diary. Several major studies have shown that people who carefully log all the food and drink that they consume each day have much less trouble losing weight when and if they need to.
One thing a food diary (experts call it a dietary journal) will immediately demonstrate to even the most skeptical user is the amount of unintended, sometimes even unconscious consumption that takes place in the average person’s life.
Midnight snacks revealed, tastes and nibbles exposed
The diary serves a dual purpose. First, it serves to open a person’s eyes to the kinds and amounts of food and drink consumed. Second, and maybe more important, one can view the diary after a few days and instantly spot unhealthy eating habits.
People who are trying to shed a few, or many, pounds benefit the most from use of a food diary. Kaiser Permanente commissioned a large study that showed diary users lost twice as much weight as non-loggers during a given time period.
Here’s what you’ll need to do if you want to keep a food diary for weight loss purposes or just for the fun of it.
Most people who do this task find it utterly revealing. It is not uncommon to view the diary after a week’s time and stare in disbelief at all the junk you’ve consumed for the past seven days. Typical insights gained from keeping a food diary:
The ancient adage, “Know thyself,” is on full display here. The mere act of writing down our daily consumption can have a profound effect on us. If, after the week is up, you want to make some changes, be careful to continue with the diary for a couple more weeks. That way, you’ll be able to see whether you are able to stick with your new-found health consciousness.