If there was one simple thing you could do that would almost guarantee you better weight loss results, would you do it? If the answer is yes, then grab a pen and a notebook because that one thing does exist and it is the simple act of keeping a food journal. Not just one, but several studies have shown that keeping a food journal helps people to lose more weight. One study in particular that was published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine showed that people who kept a food diary six days per week lost almost twice as much weight as those who did not!
Keeping a food diary is an excellent tactic for weight loss as it increases two key things: your awareness and accountability for the foods you consume. If you’re diligent and write down everything you eat or drink it can help you see where some of your “hidden calories” may be lurking. It can also reveal patterns such as times of day that you veer off track. And, sometimes just knowing you’ll have to record that late night bowl of ice cream is enough of a deterrent to stop you from having it.
This week’s newsletter was inspired by a Synergy member experience. In an effort to lose weight, this member was on a diet of 1,500 calories per day. After an initial weight loss of about 20 pounds, she found herself at a plateau. Although she was keeping up with her small group training sessions at Synergy and kept a meticulous food diary to ensure she did not exceed 1,500 calories per day, her weight loss seemed to have stopped.
To try to understand why she had plateaued, we sat down and reviewed her food diary together. It was detailed and tracked each meal and snack she was having over the course of the day. And while it was clear she was not “cheating” or taking in more calories, I noticed that the majority of the food she was eating was processed or packaged. Her diet was seriously lacking in whole, natural food.
So, to help her make a transition to a healthier whole food diet, we decided she would start by just changing her breakfast. From then on she had eggs and fruit instead of her usual processed breakfast of a bagel or cereal.