A while back my husband and I decided to write down every single penny we spent. If we purchased a soda or a candy bar with spare change – we wrote it down. As a result, we stopped spending money on trivial things because we didn’t want to have to write it down on the list and justify it.
The same concept works with food. If you have to record with accuracy the amount of food you consume, it helps to create accountability for your caloric intake.
Keeping a journal not only helps you to see how many calories you have consumed, but it also may help you to identify your areas of weakness. Do you often eat a sugary or high fat snack in the afternoon to pull you out of a slump? Or do you notice that on the mornings you skip breakfast you tend to snack at night? Identifying destructive eating patterns can help you to avoid pitfalls in your diet plan.
In addition to tracking your food, you may find it helpful to record your physical activities. Tracking your exercise will help you to better calculate the calories in, calories out equation.
Some may find it also useful to record their moods throughout a given day. You can compare your mood to the foods you eat to determine if there are any emotional connections with your food choices. Making a comparison with mood and exercise can also be beneficial to see how you felt before, during and after exercise – this can help you determine which exercises are most beneficial to your emotional health.
It’s up to you to find the best way to record this information. Some people prefer to write everything down in a notebook, others choose to use online programs like those offered on http://www.fitday.com or even through apps on their phone like Lose It. Whatever you decide to use, make sure that it is convenient for you and that you consistently use it.
At the least you should really consider keeping a journal of your food consumption. In doing so you will be much more conscious of what you are eating, less likely to overindulge and more equipped to identify areas of your diet that need changes.