If you can’t seem to lose weight and you don’t know why; then it’s time you started your very own food journal. Food journaling has been proven to increase your success! Not only does journaling force you to admit what you have eaten, it can also help you to pin point the flaws in your diet.
When journaling write down the portion size of the foods you are eating. Keep track of the time as well. You should be eating through out the whole day (every 3-4 hours). Don’t eat all your calories at once. It’s helpful to write down your mood at each meal…. are you eating because you are board or hungry? Keep a mental note of what you are doing while you are eating these meals. If you are overeating due to a phone conversation or while watching tv, then maybe you should consider eating at the table without excess distractions.
When choosing a food journal, you have several options. The old fashion version is to write it down. However, now you can use the computer as an easier version. New computer programs can help you keep track of your portions along with your calorie intake.
“ON THE WEB
-SparkPeople, at www.sparkpeople.com, is the most user-friendly free online food journal I’ve tried. It gives personalized calorie and exercise targets, includes nutritional information for thousands of foods and has an easy way to create custom entries for foods that aren’t in SparkPeople’s database.
-Linda Nye, a registered dietitian at the Wichita Clinic, likes FitDay, at www.fitday.com. Along with free nutritional information, it has a pie chart that analyzes your daily calorie intake.
-My-calorie-counter.com includes free nutritional information for a wide range of foods, but the site charges fees to show daily calorie totals or to let you create a custom entry for a food that isn’t listed.
-Shape magazine’s Web site, www.shape.com, offers a free food log, but the nutritional information is limited, the data can’t be saved from day to day, and you can only use the meal page for 30 minutes at a time. Ishape.com’s food journal offers more features for a fee.
ON THE SHELF
-“The Ultimate Pocket Diet Journal” by Alex Lluch ($9.95, Wedding Solutions Publishing Inc.) includes categories to track foods and beverages, daily calorie intake, exercise, energy levels, water intake, goals, results and vitamins and supplements. It offers nutritional information for more than 1,000 popular food items.
-“Chef Kathleen’s Cooking Thin Daybook” by Kathleen Daelemans ($14.95, Houghton Mifflin Co.) is a 52-week planner that includes recipes, suggestions on how to burn calories and space to record weekly goals, what you eat and how much you exercise. It features report cards with categories like where you can improve and which new foods you’re going to try.
-“The Corrine T. Netzer Dieter’s Diary” ($11, Delta Trade Paperbacks) records food and calorie totals for up to 16 weeks. It gives dieting tips, helps track your weekly progress and includes a compact calorie counter.
-“DietMinder Personal Food & Fitness Journal” ($14.95, Memory Minder Journals Inc.) includes space for before and after photos. Its categories include exercise, vitamins, the time of meals, what you eat and whether you met your daily goal. It offers nutritional information for some favorite foods.
Remember that every successful diet or life change includes a way of keeping track of your progress.