Dear Diary: The Weight Loss Power of a Food JournalPosted: Nov 30 in Lifestyle by Staff
There is no secret weight loss tool. Though purveyors of fad diets and extreme workout programs may claim to hold the key to slimming down with ease, the truth is that none of us have a golden ticket to the waistline of our dreams. As your weight loss doctor in Syracuse or Fayetteville will tell you, losing weight safely will require change—you have to not only want to become healthier, but also have the desire to turn your dreams into reality.
This doesn’t mean you’ll be without useful tools in your journey. The support of your weight loss doctor and her team will be invaluable, but there are also many ways to monitor and bolster your progress on your own. Remember: you’ve made the decision to seek the help of a weight loss doctor and only you can choose to see your program through to the end.
Of all the worthwhile tools available to weight loss hopefuls, food journals may be the most effective.
By recording all of your eating decisions in a food journal, you can keep yourself accountable as you try to stick with your diet. A food journal can help you see the bigger picture, putting every decision into a visual medium that helps you fix your failures and feel fulfilled by your successes.
Studies have shown that keeping yourself accountable in this way can ultimately help you lose more weight, but it will also accomplish another important goal of medical weight loss: helping you live healthier. As you become more aware of everything you eat and drink, the way each decision affects your well-being will start to seem clearer. When you make yourself aware of how skipping a meal or eating huge restaurant portions affects your weight loss progress and overall health, you make it easier to control your actions and move forward.
Here are a few qualities that any medical weight loss food journal should have:
- Details. Record your eating habits as accurately as possible, including as many details as necessary. You probably don’t need to write down every ingredient listed on the label, but should at least pay close attention to portion sizes. You should also be sure to record what condiments, toppings and methods of preparation you used. To keep things accurate, it’s best to record your meals directly after eating them.
- Honesty. Fibbing in your food journal will hurt no one but you. Make sure you’re recording your eating habits honestly and accurately without sugarcoating the truth. Even if you break your diet, there’s no reason to feel self-conscious—everyone makes mistakes, and no one but you (and maybe your weight loss doctor) will have access to what you write in your journal.
- Accessibility. Because there are many different methods of recording your eating habits, you need to find one that makes the most sense to you. Though you may choose a traditional notebook format, you may find a smartphone app or computer spreadsheet more suited to your individual needs. At my practice, I like “My Fitness Pal.” If you friend me, and share your diary with friends only, I can see your food and comment on your progress.
The fact that you are recording your eating habits is what matters most–not how you record them. It may be best to find a format you can carry with you at all times to make regular on-the-go updates easier.
Many people search far and wide for the secret to weight loss, but the true answer lies within. If you’ve sought the assistance of a weight loss doctor in Syracuse or Fayetteville, you’ve already made a huge step towards a healthier life. Keep yourself motivated to finish your plan with the help of a food journal.
Have you kept a food journal during medical weight loss? Share your tips and experiences with us in the comments below.