As so many successful dieters can attest, if you want to succeed at losing weight it helps to pay attention not only to what you eat but also to what you write. As you follow your new WLS regime, writing down what you put into your mouth each day may help keep you from overeating or eating the wrong kind of things. In fact, the National Weight Control Registry, a well-regarded, long-term weight-loss study, found that journaling is one of the most powerful tools used by people who have lost weight and kept it off. Here are four more reasons to start a food diary today:
You’ll be more aware of mindless eating. Quick: What did you eat yesterday? Sure, you can remember your meals, but what about those mindless between-meal nibbles or snacks that you grazed on? The WLS regime recommends a protein- and fibre-rich mid morning and mid afternoon snack if you need it, but it’s often easy to overlook the other little bites you may inadvertently indulge in throughout the day. And they can add up. Writing everything down will help you become more aware of your previously unacknowledged eating habits.
You’ll discover your diet detours. Are you a late-night refrigerator raider? Do you find yourself hitting the vending machine to beat mid-afternoon fatigue at the office because you forgot to bring healthy snacks with you? Do you indulge in sweets when you’re unhappy, stressed, or even, paradoxically, when you’re especially happy? Knowing what your eating triggers are will help keep you on track. To break bad habits, you should record not only what and when you eat but also the circumstances that prompted you to overindulge and make those unhealthy choices in the first place.
You’ll see your progress at a glance. If you’re committed to losing weight and improving your health, your food diary will give you a glimpse at the progress you’re making. Just compare entries from week to week. If you’re staying on track, you’ll note a downturn in refined carbs, sugars, and unhealthy fats and see an uptick in healthier options, including heart-healthy vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Simply seeing all those smart food choices at a glance will be positive reinforcement as you work toward your health and weight-loss goals.
We make it easy for you! All of our recipes have nutritional stats with them so that you can see quickly the protein, carbs, fat and ideal WLS portion. If you use these with the Journal in our gift pack (see here) you can log your foods and track your progress with ease. You can also jot down your thoughts and feelings, sort through challenges you’ve faced, and record your successes. Our Weight-loss Countdown Plaque (see here) is also a great visual reminder of how far you have come!