By Dr. Jean Harvey-Berino, Ph.D., R.D., Joyce Hendley, EatingWell Editors, The EatingWell Diet (2007)
Excerpted from The EatingWell Diet Book.
Self-awareness is self-motivation; by keeping track of your behavior, you motivate yourself to change by becoming more accountable. Create a weight tracker to stay on top of your progress and keep yourself motivated. Our Weight Tracker Chart (click to download pdf) will help you put your progress in perspective.
Keep a food diary to record the foods you eat each day—this self-awareness will help you eat less. Our Food Diary (click to download pdf) will help you track your daily intake to see if you are achieving your goals.
Start an Activity Log (click to download pdf) to help you make a conscious effort to build more activity into your days. Give yourself credit for being active, and each activity adds up!
Since your weight can fluctuate greatly from day to day, it’s not important to weigh yourself daily—but some people find it easier to remember that way. Try to do it at the same time of day, with the same amount of clothing. Make sure your scale is calibrated (reads “0” when no one stands on it) and is on a completely flat surface.
Yes, keeping a food diary takes time, especially when you’re learning the ropes. But it really works: studies show that people who keep food diaries tend to lose more weight and keep it off longer than those who don’t. We consider a food diary essential to the EatingWell Diet.
If you’re balking, you’re probably someone who will benefit most from this kind of approach. It might be the first time you’ve stepped back to look at your daily eating behavior. You might be amazed at what it shows you about yourself!
Diary keeping gets easier over time as it becomes instinctive.
List what you eat and how much. Be specific.
Write it right after you eat (or you will forget).
Record calories and keep a running tally.