Losing Weight is only a Point-Click Away-Naked Apartments
Photo courtesy of blue ocean powder on Flickr
Check out my post at Naked Apartments on keeping a food journal. I just started mine up again, using an old fashioned pen and paper!
Medical doctors, dietitians, integrative healers, and other experts in the health world all agree that keeping a food journal or diary is an important tool for losing weight. Writing down every (and we mean EVERY…no cheating) morsel of food you pop in your mouth makes you hyper aware of your eating habits and will shine the spotlight on some not-so-healthy patterns.
I’ve kept a food diary for a long time, testing out different formats. Everyone has his or her preferred style and there’s no right way to keep one. Over the years my diary has focused on food-mood connections (leading me to realize I’m a total nightmare after eating sugar) and targeted my food sensitivities (leading me to nix gluten). These days, I’m just keeping a straightforward food diary. This simple act of writing down what I eat and when I eat it has proven to be very successful. Seriously, who wants to write down that they’ve eaten a large slice of carrot cake from Buttercup Bake shop…with extra icing…at 11pm on a Monday? I’ve had to do that, and trust me, you don’t feel so good recording it.
If an old-fashioned pen and notebook doesn’t work for you, there are many online food diaries to help you. I’ve used My Food Diary for a few months and really liked it. For the low cost of $9/month, you have access to thousands of foods in their database. You just click on the food you ate and automatically the calorie, carb, protein, and vitamin counts are entered into your daily totals. If the food is not listed, you can manually add it to your “fridge.” The site rewards you with smiley faces when you’ve eaten healthy foods, such as fruit, and scolds you with a frownie face if you’ve eaten too much sugar, as an example. Other popular sites include www.sparkpeople.com, www.fitday.com, and www.my-calorie-counter.com.
In the end, it doesn’t matter which method or format you choose. The point of a diary is to keep you up close and personal with your weight loss goals. I not only guarantee you’ll be surprised at what you learn about the way you eat (and all the things you didn’t realize you were eating), but that you’ll be more likely to make the positive changes necessary to drop the pounds.