Keeping Food Diary Helps Weight Loss

Keep track of what you eat for the next seven days; just one short week (you can do it). Note what, when, your mood, and whether you were hungry.

This diary then becomes your window into your real eating habits. If you usually eat a pretty healthy diet for instance, then the food may not be a big problem, but what about the frequency or quantity?

Waiting for Hunger or I’m Always Hungry

Do you eat in anticipation of hunger? It can be very enlightening to play the, “Wait for Hunger” game. You do this by simply waiting for real hunger before eating anything. By real hunger I mean the, “I’m hungry, and I need something to eat,” hunger rather than a vague sensation that, “Hey, I could eat something,” or you suddenly smelled food and what a surprise, now you’re hungry. You’ll begin to recognize false hunger more often when you wait for real hunger to arrive, and once you know it’s false hunger, it’s much easier to simply ignore. Wait 10 minutes and false hunger disappears. Poof!

The odd thing while waiting for hunger is it can sometimes take a long time to arrive. People begin to worry that it won’t come at all. The same people who earlier said they are hungry all the time, now come to realize they are rarely truly hungry because they don’t wait long enough to actually get hungry. Other times you could be hungry very often throughout the day. Every day is different.

Iryna Tysiak

I carry some type of food with me such as fruit or nuts, sometimes a food bar, pretty much everywhere I go. If I get hungry, I want a couple of bites of something healthy pretty soon. It helps to stave off the, “I waited too long and now I’m going to eat everything in sight,” behaviors as well.

A food diary seems like a hassle but it can be such an excellent learning tool, and I highly recommend it. Use software if you like such as the Food & Exercise Diary, or simply get a small notebook and carry it with you. In fact, even if you use software, you still need to carry a small notebook because trying to recall what you ate is nearly impossible. You’ll easily forget those little nibbles here and there, and they count too. It can easily be just the food you don’t realize you’re eating that’s adding those extra pounds to your frame.

Give it a week, you’ll discover many things. 1) you’ll discover whether you’re really motivated to make a change in your eating habits because if you can’t do this one thing, then the chances are you’re just not ready to make a change, 2) you’ll discover you won’t die if you wait for hunger, and 3) you’ll discover you really aren’t truly hungry as often as you think you are.

Could Your Allergies Be Keeping You Fat?

A recent survey of 15,000 adults by Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York found that 1 in 50 were allergic to seafood; twice as many as are allergic to nuts. Because so many people are sensitive to certain foods and chemical additives, it’s certainly worth a once-a-month study on your own eating habits.

Keeping a food dairy will help you determine if anything you’re eating could be causing symptoms such as hives, water retention, weight gain, or the more serious breathing difficulties. Keep a log, noting how you feel before you eat, what you eat, and then half an hour later again note how you feel. If you notice any odd behaviors such as excessive sleepiness, difficulty breathing, or odd cravings make a note of that as well.

After a week or more, review your notes and see if there are any commonalities. For instance if you notice that every time you eat shellfish you suffer some difficulties breathing, that is a red flag for sensitivity if not outright allergy. Allergic reactions tend to be much more severe, even life threatening, so do not hesitate to ask you doctor if you notice anything unusual, but having already done a week long study of what you eat and how you feel will help your doctor enormously in determine what, if any, food sensitivities you may have.

I’ve done this myself as I was suffering from excessive daytime sleepiness and I began to wonder if it could be due to something I was eating. After taking careful notes for a couple weeks I was able to determine that it was not what I was eating – the results were totally inconsistent. Sometimes I’d be tired after eating, and other times I would not be tired, so actually the food diary helped me to determine I did not have any food sensitivity.

I use the Food & Exercise Diary, but you can simply write what you eat in a small notebook – as long as you take notes, it is helpful. This can also help you pinpoint any particular eating triggers, so pay careful attention to what you write about how you feel before you decide to eat too 😉