According to a study published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine* keeping a food diary can double a person’s weight loss. It emerged that the simple act of writing down what you eat encourages people to consume fewer calories.
What is a Food Diary
A food diary is a useful way of keeping track of everything you eat or drink for a few days. It can be a helpful tool for you to see what your normal eating habits are like and what you might consider changing.
How to keep a Food Diary
- A food diary should be kept and completed for at least 3 days in a row.
- The purpose of a food diary is to create accountability and provide an instant overview of how you are doing. Therefore, it is important that you are accurate and remember to put down all your food, even the very little things that you eat or drink, including snacks, alcohol, juices etc.
- Try to describe the food you eat, and how it was prepared. For example if you had fish for lunch, was it in batter or breadcrumbs, was it fried or grilled? If you had a cup of tea, how many sugars did it have? What sort of bread, rice or pasta was it – brown or white?
Food Diary and Weight Loss
Food Diary Templates and Apps
I usally recommend my clients to use one of the these three ways for food journaling:
- Buy a small notebook that can fit into your bag or briefcase.
- Create a template on your computer that you can easily access, like the one you can download here Food Diary 5 day Template
- Download or buy a Food Diary Apps for your smartphone or mobile device.
* Study Source: Kaiser Permanente (2008, July 8). Keeping A Food Diary Doubles Diet Weight Loss, Study Suggests.