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Should you be keeping a food diary?

So you have put on an extra few pounds. But how did that happen? You think you have been eating well, eating treats in small amounts. How can you figure out what's behind your weight gain? How can you nip it in the bud?

I'm sure you have heard it a thousand times, if not more: "If you bite it, write it!"-

But why is keeping a food diary it so effective? How does tracking your food help you lose weight?

Whether you are seeing a professional to help you reach your weight loss goals, keeping a food diary helps you be more mindful of what you are putting in your body. You can't hide what you are eating in a food diary, so you are more likely to choose healthier options than have to see your unhealthy choices staring back at you in black and white.

But here are a few things to keep in mind with your food diary-

Keep track of when you are eating. Knowing what time you ate, when analyzing your food diary, means that you can also see what schedule works for your body. It allows you to plan to have something healthy on hand for when you are next hungry.

Make note of the environment and your emotions when you are reaching for a snack. Sometimes we really need a snack to keep us going between meals, and sometimes we are using food to fill in the time if we are bored. Its important to be able to distinguish between the two.

Measure the amounts of food you are eating. This is really important because the difference between 1 tablespoon and 4 tablespoons of seemingly harmless salad dressing is HUGE. By keeping track of the measurements you are better able to see your eating patterns, thereby making your food diary a more effective tool for weight loss.

These few practices can really help you make an effective food diary that enables you to shed those extra pounds. Once you have kept a food diary, if you are still having difficulty getting results, seeing a weight loss coach is helpful. Having someone else look over your food diary often helps spot issues that you may have overlooked and a coach often will have suggestions about implementing new healthier habits that can aid weight loss.

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