It is very difficult to lose weight if you have no idea what it is that causes you to eat, even when your body does not need for you to eat. A food diary helps clear up some of that mystery. I was very reluctant to keep one, but the price for my diet counselor made me pay attention to her. If you decide to use a food diary, it may save you $300.00 to $1000.00 a month. Counseling only can start around $300.00 and go over $1000.00 if diet food delivery is included.
Some of the useful things I have learned from a food diary are that I binge on food sometimes and why I do it. I can often tell when I am getting ready to binge now and know what I can do to prevent a binge or lessen the damage. I know what foods cause me the worst problems with weight gain and what foods will keep me from feeling deprived of my favorites. An indirect benefit of a food diary for me is that I am able to avoid the urge to binge most of the time now.
There are some excellent sites on the internet to help you with your food diary. Particularly helpful sites are:
This one has the USDA nutrients data base and printable food diaries
This one is by family physicians and has a BMI calculator
Experts recommend newbies keep track only of the foods consumed because they are easily confused and overwhelmed. Keeping a little bit of useful information l is better than nothing. If that works it is always ok to get more elaborate, with nutrients and possible emotional and social triggers for binges etc., later.
A good food diary is useful to give you a record of where, when, what time, who you are eating with, and how you are feeling when you eat. By looking at your food diary you can see what causes the eating that made you gain weight. You may be eating from habit, boredom, loneliness, or from being upset about something. Looking at the pattern in your food diary will tell you what causes you to eat more food than your body needs to run on. This gives you a chance to plan your eating in the future so not only will you stop gaining weight, but will be able to lose your excess weight.
Even if you do not think that you are ready to make much of a change in your eating habits and behaviors, you can use the information in this series of blog posts to gain less, during the holidays, than you would otherwise.
"A pound of body fat equates to approximately 3500 calories. So if you have a calorie deficit of 500 calories (meaning that you burn
500 calories more than you eat each day) you would lose approximately
one pound per week." (Nitty gritty site for serious dieting information) The opposite is also true - if you eat 500 calories more per day than you burn, you will gain about a pound a week. Every pound you don't gain during the holidays is one less for you to lose later.
I want to write about how to keep the pounds off while you shop, before you even get it home, next.