Do you know that many people who successfully lose large amounts of weight and are also successful at keeping it off use a diary? This is no ordinary diary though. It is a food loss diary and using it can ensure total success no matter what your weight loss goal may be.
Never underestimated the power of a food diary. Using it daily will ensure you become much more conscious of your current bad eating habits. Through its use you can identify the cause of your weight problems.
So what is a food diary?
Well it is simply a small book you carry with you everywhere you go for at least two weeks. After this you can store it some place safe and refer to it three times a day.
So here is a quick explanation of a food diary:
In your diary on the first page note your current weight. Now for the rest of the week you must make a note of everything you eat during the day. This is why it is so important to carry the small book with you at all times. You must be disciplined in this. Every time you eat anything, even a small piece of meat or a nibble you must enter exactly what you ate and the time at which it was eaten. Then describe your motivations for eating it. Where you really hungry? Was the temptation of it being there too much? Where you feeling lonely or stressed? Take a note of all the feelings that lead you to eat the food.
At breakfast, lunch and dinner list all the foods you ate, why you ate them and how you felt before, during and after you ate them. Also note every bit of exercise to take during the day. It doesn’t matter how small it is just jot it down anyway. Also note when you went to the shops or to pick up the kids or just to get a message. Did you take the car or bus? Describe how you were feeling prior to taking the car or bus. Why didn’t you walk? Was it too far? Did you not have enough time?
Write down your current weight and follow the plan outlined for week 1. In addition, you can now start to analyse your diary.
Look over your entries for the previous week and the amount of food you ate. What type of food where you eating. Why were you eating it? For example you may have noted that you ate a chocolate bar at 1pm because you were feeling bored. You notice that this is a recurring theme almost everyday. So, go to your empty diary entries for week three and pencil in at the same time of day an activity that will relieve your boredom. If you can’t think of one then pencil in that you will go for a walk or start to do that odd job you have been putting off for months!
Perhaps you ate the chocolate because it gave you a certain feeling you enjoyed. Look at the feeling. Is there anything else you could do that would make you feel the same or a similar way? There are always alternatives. Jot one down in your diary!
Maybe you notice that the temptation to eat the chocolate was too strong to resist because it was just there. Pencil into your diary, on your shopping day, that you are to buy no chocolate!
Now look at your exercise activities for the previous week. When did you take the car when you could have walked? Could you pencil in an extra 15 minutes walking a day. Divide the 15 minutes into three 5 minute exercises, this way it will not seem like that much of a change. Park the car 5 minutes away from the shop. Walk to a bus stop that is 5 minutes further away. Did you not have enough time? Structure your diary to compensate, even if it means getting up 15 minutes earlier.
In this way you can use your diary to set out a plan for the coming week. Be strict with yourself and follow your plan. Tick off the things on your diary one by one as you complete them. Pencil in activities that you have always wanted to do. You will find that organising your food intake and exercise routine in this way will have a major knock-on effect on the rest of your life. You are getting organised!
Your food diary is a also great way of tracking your progress. Make sure you note in it all your accomplishments and list all your weight loss achievements. When you reach week 3 you can begin using your diary only 3 times a day – once in the morning to check your schedule for the day. Once after dinner to note your activities during the day and once at night to review your progress that day and structure the same day for the following week.
It is important to reward yourself every time you succeed at a task that you have put in your diary. Pencil in that at the end of a certain week you will buy yourself new clothes. Constantly review your achievements and give yourself credit for having done so well. This will keep you motivated and ensure you keep to your plan, continue using your diary and of course keep your weight healthy.