Monday, January 17, 2011


When I started this blog, I talked about keeping a food diary; but a food diary is only effective if you are totally honest. Studies show that if you are not honest, you can consume up to 43% more calories than you confess to. This is due to ‘sneak eating’ – which usually involves eating or drinking high fat, high sugar foods such as chocolate, salad dressings, alcohol and cold drinks. Even the milk in your tea and coffee throughout the day can mount up to quite a few calories, usually undeclared. So if you are serious about losing weight, and you think a food diary is the way to go, be sure to enter everything.

Before you begin your weight loss program, keep a very detailed food journal for a week. Include such things as your mood, state of health, who you are eating with, time of day etc. This can provide a very valuable guide as to your ‘food triggers’ – the things that make you eat. Few of us eat only because we are hungry. Many of us eat when we are not hungry at all!

Of course, weight loss is not the only function of a food diary. Healthy eating requires a certain amount of planning and tracking, just to make sure that you are eating the recommended number of portions in each of the food groups.

After two years of following a diet for weight loss/maintenance and improved health, I still weigh and measure everything and write it all down. I know it can be difficult if you eat out a lot, but serving sizes can 'swell' surprisingly fast when you don't keep a close eye. That restaurant steak is way over a 3 serving size (the recommended number of servings a day for protein foods). If weighing and measuring seems like hard work, maybe weigh and measure for the first week of each month, and judge by eye the rest of the time. But continue to write everything down with approximate serving sizes.

Always be aware of the food you are eating. And enjoy it! Slow down and savour it.

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