Whenever people ask me to help them get on the right path to lose weight or begin to live a healthier lifestyle their first question is always “What should I do?” Aside from me lecturing them on all the benefits of exercising and healthy eating, I suggest that they keep a food journal for (at least) one week.
Of course there are the non-believers that don’t think that keeping a diary of all you consume (food and drink) will make a difference, but believe me, it does. It is a practice that was suggested to me when I was a teenager and overcoming several eating disorders. I’ve also journaled here and there over the years and, trust me, being accountable for all you eat and drink will really open one’s eyes.
We go thru each day not always realizing what we’re eating or how much we’re eating and it certainly adds up. I guarantee you, if you record EVERYTHING you eat and drink for one week you will be surprised at how much extra you’re putting in your body.
Many people graze while they work or even while they’re preparing dinner. Some snack more and more throughout the day. And, a big sabateur of weight loss is drinking your calories. Many of us don’t realize how many calories we’re drinking each day – from all those coffees, or lattes and especially alcoholic beverages. I am a practitioner of not drinking my calories. There are many-a-night when I’d love to go home and have a nice
bottle glass of wine but I almost always pass because I don’t want the extra calories. I try to save my wine drinking for special occasions.
‘ “You would be surprised at how easy it is to forget how much you have eaten in one day! Just jot down the foods and, if possible, the approximate calorie count.” According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Obesity Education Initiative, keeping a food diary and an activity diary is one of the best ways to help both weight loss and weight management. You can include your diet, your daily exercise, and your weight goals. ‘
Once you have had the opportunity to review your intake for your week you will have a better grasp on your habits and calorie intake (everything adds up, so don’t forget your condiments) and from there you’ll be able to work to making better choices, to being be more aware of when you’re grazing or snacking, of how many of your daily calories are coming from your drinks, and you can move forward to eliminating some of the unneccessary calories and having better portion control.