It is a scientific system with rules and with an effect that can double the weight loss in a weight loss effort. Many studies have given measurable results such as those who practiced food journaling six days a week lost twice as much weight as those who completed it one day or less.
The advantages of the method
- Using a food diary increases awareness of what, how much and why you eat. It therefore directly helps to control unconscious snacking.
- It enables someone to find out where they can make small changes that will facilitate weight loss. Many people don’t realise, for example, how many calories they are getting from soft drinks that they could easily avoid.
- At the same time, the practice of recording can help to uncover eating behaviours that he or she has been ignoring, such as fasting all day and overeating at night or having a tendency to overeat when drinking alcohol.
- For many people, the very act of watching what they consume gives them a much-needed sense of control over their gluttony. Many people avoid eating something just because they don’t want to record it.
Three steps for an effective effort
- The key elements of a food diary are time, food, quantity and degree of hunger. Maybe even the location. These details will provide information about the emotional motivations for eating habits as well as the times of day and places where healthy and unhealthy foods are most likely to be eaten.
- The diary is completed every day, but if this goal seems unattainable, keep it at least five days a week. The most effective tactic is to update it immediately after consumption so that the information is more accurate. If put off until the end of the day, it is quite possible that important details will be missed.
- Food diaries are useful when we look back on the past days and study what we wrote. We can do this either on our own, if we feel adequate, or in collaboration with a psychologist or dietician who can help us decipher the mechanisms that prevent us from eating properly.
- The secret of success is perseverance. At the beginning of the calendar most people are diligent but as time goes by they get bored and fall back into bad habits. However, to succeed in creating new behaviors one must practice it for at least four to six weeks. This way they will succeed in building new habits such as eating lots of small meals, filling up with smaller portions, and including more vegetables in their diet.
“At Tzouma Clinic we offer comprehensive programs for weight control and nutrition. Contact us for a free assessment”