Resolved to lose weight? Consider keeping a food diary. A recent study found that logging what you eat doubles the number of pounds lost.
How much of a grasp do you have on how much food you actually consume in a day? If you’re a mindless nibbler, a habitual grazer or a grab-and-go-er, you may be putting away more than you realize. Keeping a food journal — where you record everything that passes your lips — can help you understand exactly what your eating patterns are. Once you have more objectivity about your current diet, you can make more informed choices about what you want to eat for each meal and snack. It can also help you determine if what you’re feeling is actual hunger or something else, such as boredom. Your food journal needn’t be fancy; it can be as simple as a pad of paper or even a Word document or Excel spreadsheet. Whatever mode you choose, jot down what time you eat, what and how much you eat, and how you were feeling when you ate (something as simple as tired, rushed or starving works great). Research shows that this simple act will make you likely to lose up to twice as many more pounds than if you didn’t set pen to paper (according to a 2008 study by Kaiser Permanent’s Center for Health Research).