Now ladies, I’m not saying you’ll need to do this damned boring thing forever! How flipping annoying would that be??! I’m suggesting that self awareness is key. So many of us just aren’t aware of what we really do eat… Some of us remember the main meals we have and totally blank on all the snacking, all the grazing. For the first few weeks of deciding to change your lifestyle, of deciding to lose weight… just keep a food journal, write down everything you eat (even the stuff you don’t want to write down!). This is time consuming but writing down everything you eat, even for just a few weeks, for many people, can be the key to taking the pounds off and keeping them off.
What’s my source for this?
One of the longest running and largest scale weight loss maintenance trials ever conducted: a Kaiser Permanente study funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health. Published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
– 1700 study participants
– 44% African American
— “Can writing down what you eat really help you to lose weight?”
According to the leader author of the study (Jack Hollis PhD), “The more food records people kept, the more weight they lost. Those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records. It seems that the simple act of writing down what you eat encourages people to consume fewer calories.”
— “But I am on the road a lot, I don’t have a way of keeping a formal journal”
Dr K. Bachman who was also a part of the study said, “Keeping a food diary doesn’t have to be a formal thing. Just the act of scribbling down what you eat on a Post-It note, sending yourself e-mails tallying each meal, or sending yourself a text message will suffice. It’s the process of reflecting on what you eat that helps us become aware of our habits, and hopefully change our behavior.”
So there you have it. Are you willing to ‘sacrifice’ two weeks of your life to food journal to really get self aware and to work out how much food / what you’re actually putting into your body?
I used to be about 70 pounds heavier (approx 32 kilos) and when I started my weight loss journey, I did a food journal for a few weeks so I could work out exactly what I was eating. I have to say it was a darned eye opener! I had been extremely un-self aware. And as I’d been gaining weight steadily over the years, I used to blame the washing machine for shrinking my clothes! I felt blindsided by the constant weight gain, so confused about why / how I was getting fatter and fatter. The food journal helped me to see what I was actually doing. And Knowledge is power baby! 🙂