Food diary: is it essential to have one?
Most nutritionists and dietitians agree that a food diary is critical to weight loss success. Here's why:
When you keep a food diary, you're basically undertaking a project in which the sole purpose is to understand yourself better. Keeping a diary makes you feel in control by giving you the power of your own voice. In our case, the universe we're attempting to master is that of our own bodies.
Fact vs. fiction
The diary helps you to differentiate what you're feeling and what is actually happening. This is important in the weight loss battle because the facts usually don't make us miserable or force us to fall off of the diet wagon. The meanings we attach to them do.
For example, here are some neutral facts: I put on ten pounds. I ate five biscuits today. The facts only become problematic when we make them 'mean' something. 'I'm a fat slob with no will power' are meanings that we attach to the previously mentioned facts.
The 'facts' are: You put on ten pounds and you ate five biscuits. Everything else is your made-up version of events. Well, having a food diary lets you clarify this all-important distinction, so that you can deal with the facts and forget the attached meanings. The facts by themselves are never as bad as what you attach to them.