Anybody who has done research on how to lose weight has more than likely come across advice about keeping a food diary. In the past, I have come to find that when I write down what I eat, I stay on track and reach my goals much more efficiently. It may seem tedious and annoying but if you’re serious enough about changing your body, keeping a tiny journal and recording your macro nutrients will NOT be the big of a hassle. I’ve kept a food diary for almost the past 5 months now and to this day I consistently write down what I eat. This little trick is helpful for anybody because portion control is another key to weight loss. One you start writing down what you eat, you may come to find that you do a lot more nibbling than you thought. Like I have said before, it’s the smaller things that add up throughout the day…things like that extra tablespoon of peanut butter, a handful of chocolate chips, a quick latte from Starbucks on your way to work, a “few” jelly beans sitting on your desk, and even things like sugar-loaded jelly on your morning toast or the oils you cook with. Those things might be hindering your progress and keeping you from losing weight. Another great thing about recording your foods is that you can write down the time of day you eat so you remember to eat 2-3 hours after that.
Before you start this, I recommend you first figure out how many calories you need to be eating for your goals. You can do this buy wearing a HR monitor for 24 hours. That number of “calories burned” at the end of the 24 hours (on a rest day…not a workout day) is the number of calories you need to consume to maintain your weight. To lose weight, eat 250-500 calories less and to build muscle (assuming you’re weight training) eat 250-500 calories more. That means an extra ounce of chicken or an extra 1/4 cup of brown rice at lunch…not a little wiggle room to cheat here and there throughout the day. The number of calories you eat is important but just as important is the kind of calories. A 500 calorie caramel cappuccino is not equal to a 500 calorie dinner of quinoa, fish and vegetables. Be smart about what you put in your body.
This is the diary I keep! Order it for only 10 bucks here. Staying on track of your goals will be so much easier!