According to the American Medical Association and American Dietitians Association, what's the (supposedly) most fundamental and useful weight loss tool? People who use this tool lose more weight and keep the weight off better than those who don't. Many successful weight loss programs, such as Weight Watchers and the Zone, use this tool. Yet, most people don't use this tool, even though it requires almost no expense.
What's this miracle tool?
A food diary.
Yep, that's right. A food diary. One in which you list every single thing you've eaten or drunk each day.
My diabetes nurse suggested that I keep a food diary to record all foods and drinks that I consume for a two-week period. Then we can look at what foods I can eliminate in my quest for a healthier weight.
My diabetes dietitian said, "I strongly suggest this to everyone, but few people do it. They won't take the extra few minutes after each meal and snack to record what they ate." She said that people are often unaware of how much they really eat, and a food diary is an excellent way to discover this. She has found that people who do keep a diary are more likely to lose weight and keep it off. "They become mindful of what they are eating," she said. "Then they can choose to make better choices or eliminate useful calories."
Because I've been ill and haven't eaten much of anything other than chicken broth and rice -- and you can trust me when I say that's nowhere typical for me -- I haven't started my diary yet. My plan is to start it on Sunday. I've already purchased a sturdy, cheap notebook at Staples (three for $1) to use as my diary.
After I record for a couple of weeks, the dietitian said I should be able to start identifying foods that affect my blood sugar adversely (I will be recording my blood sugar counts in it, also). She also said that I will probably be horrified by the amount of food that I eat without being aware.
Does anyone out there use a food diary? And if not, would you like to join me in using one? I think it has a lot of potential to help us reach healthy weights.