Keeping a food journal can be a vital key to success with the HCG diet, and with any other weight loss program. A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concluded that after keeping a food journal for six months, the participants who lost the most weight were the ones who recorded what they were eating in their food journal the most often. In fact, they lost about twice as much weight as those who did not keep a food journal.
A food journal might be a handy way to keep track of all of the requirements for the HCG diet. Here are three ways to leverage the power of food journaling to ensure your diet success:
Tip#1: Track your meals as you go
Use the calendar feature in your cell phone or PDA to keep track of your meals, snacks and beverages. Write down the details of each meal as you eat it so that you can record all of the details while they are fresh in your mind. This will help to establish the habit of writing down everything that goes into your mouth.
If you don’t use a cell phone, buy a small notebook that you will carry around with you at all times and write down what you eat. There are websites that offer free, printable food diary pages that you can print off and fill in as you go.
Tip#2: Measure portion sizes
This will be easy because you have to weigh your portions with the diet anyway. Keep in mind that most people underestimate both size and calorie count of food. Use a digital food scale when you can and keep an accurate count.
Tip #3 Record your slip-ups
Write down those times when you stray from your program whether it’s accidental or on purpose. You might also write why you decided to cheat and how you felt afterwards.
Keeping a food journal is effective because you can’t change what you don’t measure. You can look back over the week and see how well you did, and also see what areas need to improve. A food journal is also a helpful tool if you are working with an accountability partner such as a weight loss coach. They can help you to create some strategies for combating the urge to over-indulge, and they will notice when you might be skipping meals in order to compensate for overeating.
Food journaling makes you aware of your unconscious food habits. Once you see it written down, you can reflect on it and address it. Sometimes people tend to eat unconsciously. The simple act of writing it down brings what you are consuming into sharper focus. When you are aware of how much butter or salad dressing you’ve really been adding, you can stop and change that as you move forward.