Benefits of Keeping a Food Journal

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food journal

At the beginning of each new year many individuals put weight loss at the top of their New Years resolution list. A few are able to follow through with this resolution but many more will try and fail. Weight loss requires both changes in lifestyle and in eating habits. Many individuals think they are changing their eating habits far more than they actually are. Keeping a daily food journal or diary can help individuals who are really serious about losing weight.

Food Journals Make Every Calorie Count

Individuals who keep food diaries are able to see just how many calories they are truly consuming a day. A cookie here, a mocha latte there and the calories begin to pile up. An individual who is aiming to maintain a caloric intake of 1300 may do calculations at the end of the day and realize he has exceeded this. He can then look at what he ate and see what can be eliminated to meet his goals.

Food Journals Help Assess Nutrition

Individuals who keep food diaries are able to see how they are faring in relation to how many vital nutrients they are consuming. Men and women trying to lose weight may find that in their diet efforts they are not making proper choices and are lacking in calcium, protein, vitamin C or many other nutrients the body needs for health and energy.

Food Journals Lead to Twice as Much Weight Loss

An article in USA Today on July 8, 2008 told of the results of numerous research studies in which participants who kept daily food diaries at least six days a week doubled weight loss in comparison to individuals who did not keep a food journal.

The magazine recommended that individuals allow someone else to look at their food journals to help keep them accountable and to motivate them to make better choices. It also recommended that individuals trying to lose weight look at the portion sizes they are consuming when they eat at restaurants and only eat part of what they are served.

Losing weight is not easy and takes a great deal of commitment. Food diaries help people remember each day that they have a goal they are trying to accomplish and if they eat a doughnut at work they are going to have to look at it as an entry in their journal later with regret.

Anyone planning to go on a diet or weight loss program should get a physical with their doctor prior to beginning and let their physicians know their plans.

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