If you had to describe how you feel about recording what you eat in one word what would it be?
Many of us know that writing down the food we record is one of the best predictors of success on the journey. The most important reason for keeping a food diary is that…….We always think we ate less than we did!!!!
Recording our food makes us accountable which helps us lose more weight, make better food choices and maintain weight loss.
But knowing these facts doesn’t necessarily make it easy.
So we need to look at what gets in the way of us doing it consistently?
Let’s look at the facts.
- People have a tendency to stop doing things that feel like a chore. For example, if we save writing it all down for the end of the day, or feel stressed about honestly recording everything perfectly can feel like a lot of work.
- Recording our food makes us more aware of our behaviours and the changes we want to make. Thinking about writing it down as a tool to increase awareness and learning what works and what doesn’t – rather than to “score” how we are doing – can feel more satisfying and help us continue.
- When people approach recording their food flexibly (versus focusing on every tiny detail), they are more consistent. If we find a way to make it work for us, rather than worrying about perfectly, writing it down can feel more satisfying.
We start off every Monday with fabulous intentions to check our portion sizes and use our food diaries and then life hits and all our good intentions go out of the window!
And because we stopped doing it that day we then don’t bother for the rest of the week.
Remember perfection is hard to achieve but to achieve we don’t need to be perfect.
If your resolution was to record more often, instead of perfectly, how might it have helped you keep with it?
A food diary is so important for our success – so it’s important to find ways to make it more doable and satisfying, so we stick with it.
If writing it down feels like a must-do, consider what would change if you started to think of it differently. For example, what if you thought of it as a way to take care of yourself or a chance to learn? If you write the time next to what you are eating it becomes interesting and easy to see if it’s become a habit, and is it a habit that might need to change.
In addition to changing how we think about using our food diary, we can lean on strategies that help make writing it down easier especially when we get the results we want. Dating them can be a great tool for when the seasons change, and you can reflect back on what you were doing then and can follow now. We would all love a totally personal and unique food plan just for us, well, if you’ve written it down, lost weight and enjoyed your food…. You’ve got your plan!!