Skip to main content

Common Challenges: What's so great about a food diary anyway?

How am I going to add one more thing to my plate?  I really don’t have time to stop what I’m doing and write down everything I’m eating and drinking.  I
get it.  You’re busy, you’re frustrated. All you want to do is lose weight, but you just can’t add one more task to your plate.  Let me stop you right here.  Have you bought any weight loss books?  How about cookbooks, how many of these have you purchased?  Have you joined a gym in the past or currently?  Have you started yoga or zumba?  Did you recently buy weights, an ab roller, or thigh master?  What is all this costing you, has it worked, and if it did work did you sustain the weight loss?  My guess is for most that even if it worked you weren’t able to sustain the weight loss leading to more frustration and less money in your savings.

This is why the food diary is a great tool for you.  It’s evident you want to make a change.  You’ve made it a priority before with the purchases you’ve made. Why not start doing something that’s free this time?   A food diary is a little time consuming, it’s trivial but it works.  It works because without writing down everything you eat and drink, it is impossible to figure out how many calories you consume in a day.  Without figuring out how many calories you consume in a day, it is difficult to figure out how many calories you need to cut, or how many calories you need to add to help your metabolism work efficiently. 

If you want to make changes that will turn into a lifestyle overhaul, start keeping a food diary.  Have access to the internet?  You can use, Sparks People, Fit Day, or  All of these programs have a large database that you can choose from and compile a daily intake report.  Don’t have access to the internet?  Keep your food diary and make an appointment with a dietitian.  The food diary will be reviewed at the initial assessment and recommendations will be made to tweak your daily intake.

Don’t know how many calories you should be consuming?  This is where the dietitian comes into play.  Yes a lot of the websites, will give you an average recommendation, but only a dietitian can do a thorough assessment to put your where your calorie level should be.

I think the best thing about the food diary is the ability to see patterns and visibly correlate your success with the changes you make.  Also, for many who use the internet based food diaries, the ability to learn the calories in foods becomes ingrained in your brain and helps with decision making with menu planning, grocery shopping, and assisting with choices at a restaurant. 

Yes I’m a fan of the food diary.  All of my clients keep one and some are getting to the point where they can predict their weekly weight loss by just looking at the weekly intake.  It’s an amazing thing!  Take the time to do this for yourself.  Be accurate, relax, and allow yourself to learn a little. The results will make you happy!  Good luck and be well.


Popular posts from this blog

Nutrition Tips: Fat Isn't the Enemy (FITE)

We hear so much about carbs and protein.  Some people claim a high protein diet is the best way to lose weight, or there are people who insist everyone should only eat carbs from the low glycemic list. But fat doesn’t make the conversation much, and that’s because we all know we need to avoid it, right? Fat is evil.  Almost as despicable as gluten...but not quite. 
Dietary fat (I wish we could come up with a better word for this) is found in animal products - meats, dairy - yogurt, cheese, milk, and eggs, but we can also find it in nature with our nuts, seeds, and avocado.  Of course, our baked goods like muffins and cookies have fat are included in the ingredients to make them moist and tasty!  
Food companies have made it entirely POSSIBLE to eat a fat-free diet.  And why wouldn’t you want to? Fat (okay, I’m thinking of a new word now) has been demonized during the past few decades.  We’ve heard that eating too much fat, or any at all depending on who you listen to, will cause us to b…

Insightful Intern - Eating to Lose Weight

In order to lose weight, we often are told that energy out must be greater than energy in.   In other words, calories taken in must be less than the calories we use in all of our daily activities.  So, to lose weight we cut calories and try to increase activity.  (Granted, there is more to weight loss/maintenance than just an exchange in energy.  What if we cut too many calories or don’t eat enough?
Since I started at Kindred Nutrition, I’ve heard many of Amy’s or Dawn’s clients talk about how they’ve cut back on calories to lose weight but have hit a weight-loss plateau.  Many a time when a client discusses this occurrence, we eventually come to the conclusion that the client is not eating enough.  This probably sounds foreign but you do need to eat in order to lose weight!  If you’re not eating enough your body goes into “starvation mode.”   Then whenever you do eat your body automatically stores those calories as fat because it is worried that it is not going to get enough calorie…

The Insightful Intern - Katie Wanger

The insightful Intern: Katie Wagner – Bio: I’m a dog fanatic.  I have three brothers.  I love the outdoors.  I’m a huge advocate of good nutrition and exercise, but I am also an ice cream connoisseur of sorts.  Contradicting yes, but I figure balance is important in all aspects of life.  
How did I get here?
Upon beginning my junior year at Virginia Tech, I had set a goal to find an internship by the end of that school year doing something which would involve what I ultimately wanted to do with my life.  I was looking for something dream-fulfilling, if you will… Paid or unpaid – it didn’t matter to me.   I thought that if I could just find an internship I would better my chances at eventually being able to find a job which would aid me in paying off the mountains of debt I currently owe Virginia Tech (seeing as at this rate I will owe them my first born son) and I wanted to find something that might also bring a little joy to my life.  The only problem with this goal is that at the b…