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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Importance of Keeping a Food Journal


You may have tried diet after diet trying to rid yourself of those unwanted pounds. It can become frustrating and overwhelming when long-term weight loss fails. One tool that is often put aside in weight loss efforts is keeping a food journal. A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine suggests it may be the key to dieting success. The study concluded that keeping a food journal can double a person's weight loss.

Account for What You Eat

One of the main benefits of keeping a food journal is it makes you accountable for everything you eat. You may be enjoying three healthy meals a day, but all the little extras in between can start to add up. Maybe you are sneaking a piece of candy or two from the office candy dish, or finishing your kid's last few french fries. Just an extra 200 calories a day can add up to a weight gain of 20 lbs. in a year.

Identify Problem Times

Recording what and when you eat food also helps you determine when you're consuming too many calories. A study from the Washington University in St. Louis found that dieters seemed to slow weight loss on Saturdays. Life can be full of social events that take you to places that don't cater to your diet guidelines. Determining these problems will make you more aware of them, but also allow you to create a plan that allows you to stay on your diet next time.

Control Portions

One of the major components of weight management is portion control. A study done by Cornell University found that the bigger your meals are the more you will underestimate how much you ate. If you write down what you eat and how much of it, you will get a more accurate idea of your calorie intake. This could be an eye-opening activity that will help you reduce the size of your meals.

Treat Yourself

A food journal will help you account for calories, preventing you from overeating. However, it can also show you when you can afford to treat yourself. After a while of utilizing this tool, you will learn to control portions and identify trouble areas, thus creating better eating habits and self-control. All your hard work will pay off when you realize you can afford to indulge in chocolate and not feel guilty about it.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/382649-importance-of-keeping-a-food-diary/#ixzz1aWiWKCDB

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