Spend today writing down everything that goes into your mouth. You might be surprised by what you discover, says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, author of S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches. Even if you think you stick to a pretty healthy diet, you may find that what you think you do and what you actually do are two very different things.
“Food diaries are like a nutritional checkbook. Without balancing your checkbook, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of your finances, and the same is true for food," Sass says. "Many Americans overestimate how much they have to 'spend' food wise and underestimate how much they eat. Writing it all down can dramatically raise your awareness."
Keeping a food journal may also speed up your weight loss results or help you bust through plateau. “One Kaiser Permanente study involving over 1,600 people found that those who kept a food journal seven days a week lost twice as much weight over six months compared to those who weren’t regular recorders,” Sass says.