Weight loss: a food journal will lead you to success

Keeping a food journal is a proven tool in helping people lose weight – add it to your weight loss plan today.

In today’s super-size lifestyles, most Americans don’t know how much they are really eating. Food portions today are much larger than in the past. The average dinner plate is 33 percent bigger than a dinner plate from the 1950s. A bigger plate equals larger portions which add to your total food intake each day. But, if we know how much we are eating, it will help us be more successful in shedding extra pounds or keeping pounds off.

Recent research from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has shown that individuals who kept a food journal lost six pounds more than those who didn’t keep a journal. The process of writing down what you eat all day long increases your awareness of serving sizes and your patterns of eating. It also makes you accountable for your actions. The key to making this tool successful is to be honest with yourself when recording food items and amounts. The food journal is a great way of keeping track of your progress toward your weekly goal as well as making you aware of what you might be eating that may keep you from meeting your goal.

Food journals should be easy to use and meet your needs. The important items to track are what you ate, how much you ate and when you ate it. Other helpful information you may want to log would be what you were feeling when you ate and how hungry you were. That may tell you trends when you eat – maybe you eat when you are bored, stressed or tired.

There are many different options for keeping a food journal. If you like to have it in a paper/pencil format, there are many template options available on the internet. You could print those out and store it in a binder. If you are more tech savvy, there are a myriad of phone apps that can track your daily consumption of food. My Plate offers an online version called Super Tracker that you can use as well. The key is to keep it simple for you to use.

Keeping a food journal is an important step in weight management. It will shed light on how much you are actually eating and keep you on a path toward your goal of a healthy lifestyle.

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