Although it is part of my life’s work and professional responsibility to encourage people to keep daily food/activity logs, I have to admit that it’s one of the toughest parts of my job. After pleading, prodding and bribing my clients to jot down every single morsel of food and drink that they consume on a daily basis, it is so reassuring to see that it really works. A recent study of 1,700 overweight and obese individuals conducted by Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, OR found that people who kept daily records of what they ate over the course of 6 months lost double that of non-dairy keepers – 18 lbs (8 kg) versus 9 lb (4 kg)! If you ask me that’s pretty significant….then why do people resist this task that is a sure-fire road to success?
I’ve been given so many reasons by my clients: “I forget to bring the log with me”, “it’s too time-consuming”, “if I am eating badly, I don’t want to write it down” (isn’t that the whole point!?), “I am not a detailed person”, “I am embarrassed to show you what I really eat”, “my dog ate it”, I left it on my desk at the office” (coincidentally everytime we meet!), etc…..
The list of excuses is endless, however the results are clear cut – if you write it down, you become more aware of your eating behaviors and drop pounds! If mindful eating is your goal – a handful of this, gulp of that and forkful of the other will become part of our conscious calorie intake and not brushed aside as inconsequential. Afterall, it all adds up (or not!) on our waistlines, hips and/or thighs. And less could mean the difference between developing a chronic disease or not.
I challenge you to start writing down what you eat today. It will be eye-opening and life enhancing, for sure!