As so many successful dieters can attest, to succeed at losing weight, it helps to pay attention not only to what you eat but also to what you write. As you follow the South Beach Diet, writing down what you put in your mouth may help keep you from overeating. In fact, the National Weight Control Registry, a well-regarded, long-term weight-loss study, found that journaling is one of the most powerful tools used by people who have lost weight and kept it off. Here, four more reasons to start a food diary today:
be more aware of mindless eating.
Quick: What did you eat yesterday? Sure, you can remember your meals, but what about those between-meal nibbles? On the South Beach Diet we recommend a protein- and fiber-rich midmorning and midafternoon snack, but it’s often easy to overlook the other little bites you may inadvertently indulge in throughout the day. And they can add up. Writing everything down can help you become more aware of your unacknowledged eating habits.
discover your diet detours.
Are you a late-night refrigerator raider? Do you find yourself hitting the vending machine to beat midafternoon fatigue at the office? Do you indulge in sweets when you’re unhappy, stressed, or even, paradoxically, when you’re especially happy? Knowing what your eating triggers are ahead of time will help keep you on track. To break bad habits, you should record not only what and when you eat but also the circumstances that prompted you to overindulge and make those unhealthy choices in the first place.
see progress — quickly.
If you’re committed to losing weight and improving your health, your food diary will give you a quick (and satisfying!) glimpse at the progress you’re making. Just compare entries from week to week. If you’re staying on track, you’ll note a downturn in refined carbs, sugars, and unhealthy fats and see an uptick in healthier options, including heart-healthy vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Simply seeing all those smart food choices will be positive reinforcement as you work toward your health and weight-loss goals.
it easy for you!
The best part? The My Journal tool on South Beach Diet Online allows you to log your foods and track your progress with ease. You can also jot down your thoughts and feelings, sort through challenges you’ve faced, and record your successes. Not a member? Sign up to join the South Beach Diet Online today and get access to the My Journal tool.