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A Food Diary: An Essential Tool for Weight Loss Success

Last updated on August 3, 2020

Keeping a food diary is an effective way to stay motivated while you’re losing weight. It doesn’t cost a lot of money–most assuredly less than $3. You can even just use a couple of sheets of folded paper every week and a pen. The most important thing to remember when keeping a food diary is that in order for it to work for you, you must be consistent and honest. You must write down every single thing that you eat. Even if you only eat 3 chips from a friend’s bag; that must go into your food diary.

You don’t have to write down every detail about the food nutrition though. In fact; I recommend that you don’t. This will cause you to lose motivation; and you won’t want to keep the diary any more. When I kept a food diary; I only wrote down calories. If I knew definitely how many calories I took in I wrote that down. If I could guess by my portion size; I wrote that down (ie. 20 chips = 100 calories, 5 chips = 20 calories). If I had to wait and look up my calories online I would write it down at the end of the night. But, I kept a print out of fruits, veggies and common meats on the fridge to save time. Some people may choose to mark down fat intake as well. This is fine. I just wasn’t that educated about fat at the time and found it easier to just count calories.

The reason I needed to lose weight was because I went through some unexpected complications after surgery a few years back and had to go through 2 additional unexpected surgeries. I was not very active at all for a year due to this and wanted to lose about 10 pounds. The food diary and fiber were the most powerful tools in my weight loss arsenal. I didn’t use a fad diet nor did I pay anybody any money to supervise my weight loss. I did stay active and walked more; but, that’s about it. The 10 pounds dropped away like that.

One of the most powerful things that a food diary will show you is your own habits. Most people are not as aware of themselves as they may think. I know I’m not. I was surprised at how many little things I ate everyday. A couple of grapes when arriving at the grocery store; a mini pig-in-the blanket free sample in the meat section of the store; later a 6 inch subway chicken teriyaki sandwich and 4 of the chips that came with it. I didn’t even really want the chips but I was sitting there bored waiting for the bus!

Your food diary is a constant little reminder. You may think that you’re stuck and there are things that you can’t change; but, in reality there is often a lot of room to move that you don’t know about or are not conscious of. You might be filling up on too many sweets, eating out of boredom, nervousness, or just eating too much while cooking for others. There’s no limit to what your food diary will show you and no limit to how fast it will help you reach your goals. It can also remind you to take your resurge supplement on time so you won’t skip your intake schedule.