Food diaries may seem like a laborious task at first thought but when you consider it properly they are actually brilliant tools that are often under utilised. The average person goes to the gym or begins a healthier eating regime because they want to lose weight. Simple right?
Gym, Eat, Sleep, Repeat!
Then 3 months in you’ve lost only a single pound and can’t seem to fathom why, so give up. This is a popular pattern that happens multiple times throughout the average persons life. They will then proceed to tell you that they just can’t lose weight and it’s impossible and no point in trying because they do everything right and nothing works.
This is where you are going to be different without having to put a lot of effort in at all. Most commonly these pessimistic people are the ones who are ‘secret snackers’. They convey this clean eating image when really they are smashing back a packet of McCoys and a mars bar after dinner. Don’t get me wrong this isn’t an attack on these people because we have all done it. Our brains often trick ourselves and often blinds us to what we are really consuming.
Introducing…….. The Food Diary!
This is the piece of equipment that could turn your ‘Summer Bod’ journey around. Potentially more than the treadmill!
By documenting each day what you’ve eaten and drank you can give yourself some perspective on what you truly are doing wrong. At first don’t even worry about the calories, macros, and all the overwhelming stats. Just concentrate on the food and maybe some standard estimated measures. You must however write EVERYTHING you consume down. Make this a habit to stop yourself from not writing down that pint of Ben and Jerry’s on Friday night. This means at the end of the week you can scan back through and spot anything that seems like it shouldn’t be there and make it so much easier to remove this from your diet and cut those calories right back. (We all know you have to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight). That means not having those extra snacks all throughout the day. Often you will find that you three staple meals are fairly healthy and it’s actually your snack choices that are holding you back.
If this doesn’t work then you level up the strategy. To the measured food diary. This is where you now have to properly start weighing things out or simply recording the calories. Don’t consider this to be calorie counting but more of an observation. Once you’ve made your observation and cut the obviously bad things out of the everyday diet you can stop the counting and stick to the healthy choices. See we don’t believe in calorie counting religiously 24/7 365 days a year for the everyday person. It makes life dull and a chore.
You want to keep a good relationship with food, not one that makes you resent it.
However, if this still does not work. Begin to calorie count. But do it for a period while you get a grip on your diet. Then once you learn the good habits and consistency, you can slowly phase out strict calorie counting.
Don’t get me wrong, if you enjoy to do so then by all means count those calories. But don’t do it obsessively that may cause problems down the line!
Have you tried using a food diary?
Let us know of your experiences in the comments below!