Hands up, most of us at some point in our lives have been on a diet, whether a half-hearted effort or a structured plan. There is a good chance if you are reading this that you may be on one now.
Whether you’ve just read the 5/2 diet book, you got for Christmas last year, or you’ve found out about Kim Kardashian’s diet. Something has prompted you to start a new eating plan and it will likely involve keeping a food diary.
The majority of us know what it is like to be on a diet. The constant hunger, thinking about restricted food groups and cravings. Most of these diets, however, will have something in common, they all track what you eat in some way. Some diets are strict calorie counting, others count portions or just simple, healthy eating advice and do’s and don’ts for your new diet regime,
Starting a new healthy eating plan or keeping to a diet is exciting,
The reality, however, means that the familiarity of the diet sets in and the food diary and the eating plan gets put to one side and forgotten.
Your diet failed when you stopped tracking what you eat
A food diary helps to begin with and keeps you on track. The weight comes off, and you are feeling great, this diet is the one that is going to get you to your goal. After a few weeks, the weight loss slows down and maybe plateaus and you don’t know why. Well, you do know why!
You stopped writing down everything that you were consuming and slowly you introduced new things that are only a nibble here and there, or added in extra food in the day (sometimes without you even remembering or being aware you are doing so). Food diaries work for a reason – they monitor everything that goes into your body (if you are honest!), all those hidden calories that you had no idea you were consuming. Add up!.
Food Diary’s help you asses your eating habits
Having kept a food diary myself for many weeks, I know that it works.
I didn’t change my eating habits.
I didn’t Substitute food
I didn’t Miss out on any food groups.
What I did do however is keep an accurate record of what I was eating, I didn’t count calories I just monitored my portions and the food groups. The important thing to keep track of is the time of day. Keeping a record of when you eat helps you build a picture of your everyday lifestyle habits, frequency of eating and gaps between meals and snacks.
Why does keeping a food diary work?
If you monitor what you eat, you will realise what you are eating and see where your calories are being used up. It also makes you think about what you are eating before you eat it! It can also act as a good indicator of what foods you may be missing out of your diet. You will be surprised, but most people think they overeat when actually, evaluating a diary shows that they are not consuming enough! Fact.
Try a food diary for yourself and see if it makes a difference to your routine, see if it works, you may surprise yourself.