No matter how many great weight control programs are out there, the Food and Activity Diary is one of the key tools to successful weight control.
The research for my doctoral degree was on the study of people who successfully lost at least 20 pounds, kept it off for at least five years and were still at their desired weight range at the time of the study. I wanted to know if there were common factors leading to their success at maintaining weight loss. One of the factors turned out to be the Food Diary. Seventy-three percent of the individuals studied used a diary, journal or some form of record keeping.
You might be surprised by what you discover about your habits. It’s easy to overlook a handful of Parmesan cheese tossed on your pasta or the amount of salad dressing you use. In addition, you may notice patterns of eating; such as boredom, anger, sadness, happiness, or 12 noon. By becoming aware of habits, you can start to make changes.
A Diary is a record of your life in progress. Use the diary to record your daily foods, activities, thoughts, and goals. You will lose weight and keep it off. And if you have the chance to read it ten years from now, you will have fond memories and a documented journey of your adventure and success.
The Food and Activity Diary was designed to be used by any weight control program. So whether your counting calories, carbohydrates, fat, proteins, points, or food groups you can easily use the Food and Activity Diary.
How to Use the Diary
Motivation, Inspiration and Positive Thinking. Start your day off on a positive note. If you start to slide, remember the positive thought for the day.
Record the foods and the amounts of everything you eat and drink, even one grape. Don’t forget to weigh or measure your food. In time, you will be able to guess the size, but for now make sure you have a kitchen scale, measuring cups, and measuring spoons. See the portion control section at Weighing Success for suggested measuring tools.
Be honest. Do not write down a carrot when you just ate a hot fudge sundae.
Record foods right after eating, otherwise you may forget.
In the tracking column, note the number of calories, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, points or food groups you have consumed. The food plan you are on will determine what you will track.
Obtaining nutrition information on food products is easy today. Check the Internet, the nutrition label, or a book on foods and nutrients.
At the end of the day, total up your numbers and place them in the summary box. How did you do? There is also a place for you to monitor your activities or exercise, thoughts, and goals.
At the end of each 7 days, there is a week in review section. Look at what you have accomplished and set new goals. Practice positive thinking and complete the weekly self-awareness assignment.
Click on the link below to take you to a practice sheet and a seven day food diary. I have filled in the first day as an example for you to follow.
Seven Day Food Diary (pdf files)
USDA, Choose MyPlate
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH. Daily Food and Activity Diary
WebMD Portion Size Guide