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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How to Keep a Food Diary for Weight Loss


It may seem a little tedious to write down everything that you eat, but it can be a very useful tool when it comes to weight loss. Every calorie and every pound counts--and adds up--so keeping a log of everything that you eat can help prevent unwanted pounds. It can also help you pinpoint your problem areas--what's wrecking your diet and preventing your weight loss.

Step 1

Log what you eat. Every meal, snack and beverage should be logged in your diary. You can pack on calories and pounds without sitting down to a real meal--the handful of candy here, the chocolate mocha with whipped cream and sprinkles there. Don't leave anything out of your food diary for the most accurate picture of what you're consuming each day.

Step 2

Record how much you ate. In addition to what you ate, you need to accurately record your portions. Record the weight or measurement of your food--for instance, a 4-ounce piece of chicken, ½ cup of rice, 2 tablespoons of salad dressing or 1 cup of popcorn. If it's easier to record quantity, write it that way--one apple or banana.

Step 3

Don't forget additives and flavorings. Don't just write that you had vegetables if you sautéed them in oil--make sure you count the oil, marinade or other seasonings that you use to prepare your food. Don't forget condiments (mayonnaise or ketchup) and salad dressing.

Step 4

Track the time and place. To help you figure out where you eat most and at what time of day you're most likely to splurge, record these details about your snacking habits. Next to what you ate, jot down where you were when you ate it, what time it was, and if you were alone or with friends. You should also note what you were doing at the time, like working or watching a movie. This can help you determine patterns in your eating habits, and figure out ways to thwart bad habits.

Step 5

Examine your thoughts. Consider how you felt and what you were thinking when you were eating, and record a word or short phrase describing your mood and thoughts. Maybe you tend to eat when you feel lonely, anxious or depressed. If you can identify what triggers you to eat, you can find healthier ways of coping with those emotions that spare calories and pounds.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/31555-keep-diary-weight-loss/#ixzz1aWhHPnBP

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