What tends to be confirmed by some research. For example, in one study (1) with 2,000 people participating in a program of weight loss and were encouraged to keep a food diary, the number of days they have continued to take their paper was the best predictor of weight loss, prior exercise habits, age and body mass index
A food diary should include, for maximum efficiency, all food consumed in a day, the calories they contain and the time and circumstance where they are consumed.
It may also be useful, and easier, keep a journal of more limited and targeted by one or more specific objectives: a newspaper that tracks the consumption of fruits and vegetables for example without counting calories.
It is important to record as and what is consumed because it is too difficult to recall later in the day.
The food diary can help in several ways:
It helps develop a realistic idea of the calories consumed
This requires well equip themselves to counting calories. A small book containing a table of calories can be convenient because it can be always within reach. Several websites also provide tables of calories. In visiting some can find the most convenient for himself. A calculator at hand takes into account the portions.
People underestimate their daily intake of calories by about 25% according to research. This underestimation increases in the case of restaurant meals, especially for large portions. An underestimation of calories consumed is often the explanation for weight gain or failure to lose weight.
See the need:
What is the need for calories in a day?
He brings cutting some snacks and make better choices
Without a paper that allows for how small snacks and appetizers right and left, add up their calorie intake can easily be underestimated. Six small bites per day, averaging 25 calories can organizes 6.5 kilograms per year (15 pounds).
While writing may lead to better choices. For example, opt for a regular coffee with milk at 25 calories instead of coffee mocha topped with whipped cream and 400 calories.
It helps develop an objective to balance food
A person may, for example, suggests eating lots of vegetables and feel to cook constantly but it does make cooking twice a week.
The food diary can also confirm whether the number of daily servings in each food group is recommended. Eating a balanced diet is the basis for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
It helps to identify problematic situations
By including when and under what circumstances the food is taken, it helps to identify the circumstances, modes of operation and the triggers that contribute to excess calories.
Once the circumstances brought to the attention of the solutions can often be made quite easily: for example, bring a healthy snack to avoid being tempted (e) by the vending machine at the break, take a walk instead eat that when stress arises in a particular circumstance, do not eat from the bag while watching TV …
It can make a conscious attention
A significant portion of excess calories can be taken with food automatically without thinking, without being aware of the amount consumed (watching TV, thinking, talking or simply out of habit in certain circumstances). Keeping a diary helps counter automation by bringing to conscious attention. It is then possible to ask “Am I really hungry?”.
It helps to maintain motivation
Results can be quickly identified. Comparing the first week of diary keeping with a week later, encouraging changes in dietary balance and control of the calories are observable.
After a few weeks, it may be possible to observe certain behaviors that lead to greater weight loss.