Healthy resolutions to regain control of our diets aren’t always realistic. We tend to tip the scale towards ambitious rather than achievable, which is why it can be difficult to stick with your goals. When weight loss is on your mind, it is easy to fall victim to fad diets that “promise” extreme weight loss in a mere 4 weeks. But, dieticians, nutritionists and researchers alike all agree: deprivation and restriction are out and conscious eating is in. With diet trends forecasting plates filled with lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, we know what to eat, but how can we stay on track?
I have an easy tool to track your progress: a food diary! Diaries aren’t just for teenage girls keeping secrets from their kid brother who is just dying to know who’s the cutest boy in 8thgrade; they are a great way to realize exactly what and how much you eat everyday. Keeping track of your diet will allow you to notice patterns and showcase areas for improvement, so that you can become a more conscious eater. Keeping your food diary simple and organized is crucial, and referring to your journal with your dietician or physician will produce even better results. This will allow your health professional to gain additional insight into your daily food habits that you may not be aware of, thus enabling a diet tailored to fit you. Keeping a food diary fits into the three integral components when formulating a successful weight-loss plan: 1. nutrition knowledge and expertise; 2. accountability (i.e. recording what you eat in a food diary); and 3. coaching and encouragement.
It's important to be honest with yourself and write down everything you consume in a day. I say, if you bite it, write it! Whether you keep track of your intake in a beautiful composition book or the notes app on your phone, you can write your way to a healthier lifestyle.