I started keeping a diary again. A food diary, that is.
I first kept a food journal fifteen years ago. That was when I gave The Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet a try. I don’t recommend this diet but a food diary is a tried and tested technique used by many who have successfully lost pounds and maintained their weight. I know it helped me to really see how much I was eating every day. When I was reminded of this strategy in Jenna Wolfe’s Thinner in 30, I knew I needed to give it another try.
Wolfe advises readers to not only keep a food diary but to find a friend or two with whom to exchange food logs. I’m not quite brave enough for that. I’m all for accountability, but I need to stop lying to myself first before I can be honest with someone else about what and how much I’m eating.
My method began rather low-tech. I typed what I ate into a Google document. Then I decided to return to another old friend, the online weight loss site SparkPeople. Now I’m seeing exactly how many calories I’m consuming each day. I’ve had several readers and acquaintances recommend using My Fitness Pal for tracking food and exercise. There are lots of options available, so find a site or app or piece of paper that fits your needs.
Knowing I’m going to write down what I eat gives me pause. Do I really want a reminder that I ate a cookie for breakfast? How will I feel knowing I ate a brownie and potato chips instead of an apple? On the upside, I can also see when I afford to eat more calories. That way I don’t feel deprived and then binge later on.
Here’s one tidbit I don’t have to keep track of – the haiku for day 19 of NaHaiWriMo.
one bite, another
I track each taste, each spoonful
I see what I eat
Do you keep a food journal? Tell us about it in the comments.