Understanding Your Weight Loss With a Food Diary

Now that I fully understand what it takes to eat healthy and maintain a healthy weight, I realize how important it is to have a food journal. I've learned they are one of the most important tools someone could use to lose weight. You may be asking what a food journal is. I'm not referring to one of those diaries that we all had as kids writing down everything from our childhood crushes to the teachers we hated. I'm talking about a book where you write down your diet goals, progress, setbacks and triumphs.
Three years ago, in the beginning of my weight loss process, I hired a personal trainer. I was under the assumption that he'd do all the hard work and magically make me skinny. After three weeks of meeting him in the gym 3-5 times a week, I stepped on the scale to find I hadn't lost a single pound! I got really frustrated and the next day I went back to the gym with the intentions of firing him. He made a deal with me. He said that if I do this homework for a week and still no progress, I can get a new trainer. Deal. I had to write down everything I put in my mouth. Being the good student that I am (and wanting to prove him wrong) I did it. I was also forced by my husband, who was making sure I wasn't cheating or lying on my little project.
After the first 7 days, I gave him my diet journal. I was so proud of myself that I completed it, until I saw how disappointed his face looked. He pointed out the two cups of coffee each morning, a couple of diet cokes every day, finishing off my daughter's bag of chips, the gummy bears from the movie theater, and the four glasses of wine last Friday. He explained that's the reason I hadn't lost any weight.
Now-a-days, I explain the importance of a food journal to all of my own clients. I truly believe it helps people make smart choices when they eat. I always point out that they can do ten hours at the gym all they want, but if they don't watch their diet, they will not succeed.
A food journal is the most important tool in the beginning of a new lifestyle. You can find free diet journals online or buy one in the library. It's also fun to make one by getting a notebook and decorating it with all of your goals. In it, you want to write down everything from breakfast to dinner and include the times that you eat each meal and how you feel throughout the day. Don't forget to include your happy hours or parties. You have to see the flaws in your diet too.
Also include your workouts. Write down when you go to the gym and which exercises you did. Now you can keep track of which muscle groups you need to work and which you need to rest. If you still have questions about why those pants don't fit, take a look at your food journal and you'll have most of the answers right in front of you.
It's helped so much with my own weight loss results. I've surpassed most of my fitness goals and continuing to reach for more. And let me tell you, I still write everything I eat and every exercise I do down in my diet journal. The trick is to be honest with yourself. If you don't want to admit to the food diary you ate a brownie, you're only fooling yourself. I highly recommend a food journal in your path to a healthy lifestyle. It will make your learning, planning and achieving much easier.
Ingrid Macher is a holistic health coach, personal trainer, and fitness motivator helping hundreds of thousands of people around the world to change their lives. After finding the key to losing 50 pounds in 90 days herself, she has found it her duty to help everyone to become more healthy and happy. On her website Burn20.com, she reveals how she did it in her free eBook 9 Simple Secrets I Used to Melt Away 50 Pounds. Are you ready to change your life?


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