OK lets be honest, if I would ask people to precisely count their daily calories, protein, carbs, and fats. I think it would be really overwhelming for most of them and the next thing we would see (well besides real answers) its actually people running for hills. Or actually hills with fast food place, or all you can eat place hidden in it.
And you will ask me why? Really?
Want to lose fat? Do this first
So here is something to think about. Do not change anything in your diet or meal plan, or whatever you want to call it. Do not limit your calories, or don’t even count them. Just literally write down what you drink or eat every single time, every single day.
What is the easy way to do it? Well get an app, but as you know not every app is good. So make sure you do some research before you getting one. Or have a notebook or even peace of paper for that day, and when you get home just count what you had. Just keep on doing it. Or just search for food database, which will give you very correct information. There is few of them now days.
It might sound silly, but trust me this way you will get a habit where you write down everything and you know everything you eat.
Its sounds simple doesn’t it? Well its actually really is, its just will take few days to get used to it.
- Kaiser Permanente Says It Works
Here is a fact #1. Study took place where over 1700 men and women took and actually did exactly that. Kaiser Permanente Care Management Institute’s Weight Management Initiative looked at the impact a food diary had on weight loss among those people. The research showed that people, who wrote down everything they ate every single time, lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t.
And the funny part was that it wasn’t any changes in the diet. But just writing down what they ate. But this is the kicker. Those who wrote down calories and tracked what they ate, it automatically encouraged those to eat fewer calories. The more food records people had, the more adjustment to they eating habits they made, the more weight they lost. How simple was that.
- It Helps You Be More Aware Of Portions As Decisions
Now lets go to fun fact #2. And now I will start with the question to you. Is there any difference between very think slice of cake and few very big slices of cake?
Ok maybe this is was too obvious. But hold on is it really was? Now this is where we get when we don’t think twice when we at the table and do not count what we eat. We don’t see a problem to have two cakes, or have double portion of anything. Don’t tell me you didn’t have that. Don’t tell me you never said, CAN I HAVE ANOTHER ONE. It’s a fact you just reach for it. Or ask for it.
But when you track what you eat. You are forced to think about those decisions. Lets say even if you don’t know how many calories are in that cake (well we never do), now you are aware of the portion, and the decision you are making, and what could happen to you in result of double tapping (well I thought it sounds funny).
Over time, when you write down what you eat, you’ll likely begin to ask yourself before you grab the spatula, “Do I really want this? Do I need it?” That momentary pause may be all you need to stay on track with your larger nutrition goals.
- It Can Teach You To See, Holes In Your Diet
This is my favorite fun fact, and here is fact #3. I know you already have been on the NO FUN diet. You hated so much, but the worse part you didn’t lose any weight. And you are mad and all of the above asking yourself HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? But let me tell you this, the answer to this mystery is not complicated as you think it actually is.
So if we go back and repeat what we said before, writing down what you ate or drank through the day, will show you how many extra bites and sips you took throughout the day. Well that’s a fact actually. Now let me give you few examples. If you drink few teas or coffees with sugar, or few sodas during the day, or few drinks at night, or all of the above, you may need to rethink your habits and see the your patterns that actually you never seen before.
Yes all those things count. And yes all those things have calories. You can easily count them if you really want to know how many calories are in each thing. But in reality you don’t need to, just track what you do through the day, what you eat or drink, and that alone might be enough.
How To Write Down What You Eat
OK now you want to know how to write all this down. Well that’s actually very simple. To really create most accurate food notebook, or diary if you want to call it this way, you need to writ down:
- food choices
- food portions
- drinks you having
- do it for a day
- better do it for a month
- your food notebook/diary can be app/notebook/email/whatever you want as long as its there for you to see and have it when you need it.
And here is what not to do: DO NOT WRITE THINGS AHEAD OF TIME! Yes that is it. Lets be honest here again, if you write down ahead of time what you going to eat, most likely this is not going to be exactly it, and you will forget all the other bites you took as well, and sips as well. Always be honest with you. That just makes sense.
Give this a try. You will see you going to like it, because it will work. And you will see the results.
- Kaiser Permanente. (2008, July 8). Keeping A Food Diary Doubles Diet Weight Loss, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily.