It’s clear that keeping a food journal or food diary – a written record of every bite you put in your mouth – is an effective weight loss tool. Women who record what they eat, eat less and lose more weight. They are also more successful at keeping the weight off. Used correctly, a food diary can be an effective tool for taking control of emotional eating.
The problem is, just about everyone hates keeping a food log, and setting up an approach that you dread can be an easy path to self-sabotage. Writing down everything you put into your mouth can be inconvenient, tedious, and it requires a lot of discipline. It can also be difficult to record portion sizes accurately, and far too tempting to bend the truth.
Here’s a smart weight loss tip that holds promise. You don’t have to write down everything you eat anymore to get the benefit of keeping a food diary. There’s actually a simple, graphic and accurate way to record what you eat – at the touch of a button. Grab your cell phone and snap a picture. Yep, take a picture of your food-all your food-before you eat it. Pictures don’t lie. They don’t fudge on portion sizes (consider placing something like a fork in the picture so that you can assess for scale), and they show everything on your plate. They even document the times when you skip using the plate (not a good weight loss tactic, by the way).
Research indicates that keeping a photographic food diary may work even better than a written one.
What to do with these photos? A simple, free solution is to set up a free blog at Blogspot.com or other blog site. You decide whether you want to keep it private (for your eyes only) or open it up to friends or to the world (accountability helps). New apps and options are being developed as we speak, so chances are good that you’ll be able to find something that will work for you. For those on Twitter, there is an app, for tweeting what you’re eating, allows you to add pictures to your tweets and says it will be streamlining the process in the near future.
What do you think? Have you used a food diary (written or photo-based)? How has it worked for you? What has helped you stick with it, or what has gotten in your way?