When I signed up for this weight-loss journey, the first thing my nutritionist, Keri Gans, told me I had to do was to keep a food journal, chronicling every single thing that I eat and recording the times that I eat. All day. Every day. For a whole year! The task was daunting to say the least. Now that I’ve been keeping one for eight months, here are a few tips that have helped me keep an accurate food diary:
- Decide where you will keep your food journal: in a document on your computer, on paper, or in your cell phone notes.
- Keep paper and a pen with you at all times. I recently paid the price for depending on technology when I was away on vacation with no computer or phone access! If you have paper and a pen, you can jot down your food and type it up later in your electronic records.
- Write down everything IMMEDIATELY after you eat it, or you will forget or be unable to record everything accurately. I keep my food journal on my computer at work. On the weekends, I type up what I eat in my cell phone notepad and transfer it to my work computer on Monday morning.
- Document it all. This includes the handful of chips you just grabbed from your pantry, the Hershey’s Kisses sitting out at the nail salon, and the chocolate-covered almonds your coworker just offered to you!
Food journaling not only forces you to keep a record for you to review and track ways to improve your habits, but it also keeps you from being “mindless” about eating. If you have to write it down, chances are you will think twice before sticking your hand in the candy jar!
Our 2012 Weight Loss Diary writer, Yasmin, is a 33-year-old web content producer who is looking to get healthy and love her body! Follow along on her year-long weight loss journey!