All weight control experts recommend keeping a record of what you eat. Seeing your daily intake in black and white reality can boost your pride in your self-discipline, gently confront you with some less than stellar choices you've made, or cast you into a morass of guilt and depression when you face epicurean debacle that your food intake represents.
A food diary can become so much more useful for your weight wars if you use it as a tool for self-exploration and self-discovery. It allows you to create an oasis of support that anchors you in a world tossed by competing priorities, overwork, incredible dietary temptations, and social pressures that all lead to frustration, inwardly directed anger, diminished self-esteem, and terminal fatigue.
What do we need to do to create such a tool?
1. Buy a good spiral notebook with lots of pages and a hard cover - you're going to keep this for a long time so avoid anything that's going to easily fall apart.
2. Enter date you started your journey: this is baseline against which you will compare your entries for next several months. Under date, enter following information as accurately as you can make it, as of this very moment:
Age Height Weight Measurements Waist Bust Hips Thighs Upper arms Clothing size Type of hairstyle Any daily exercise obtained Today's primary mood Self-Appraisal (find 3 adjectives for each area) General appearance Size and shape Personal characteristics Interpersonal relationships Self-value Family or romantic relationships Level of self-satisfaction
3. Each day, you are going to enter not only what you ate, but thoughts and emotions that accompanied food. Note: Don't become obsessive - it more productive to keep this daily but if you run out of time and energy now and then, skip it, and get back to it when you can.
4. It is going to take some thought and memory-searching to ferret out what you need so find yourself a quiet spot where you can be alone and quiet. Keep your book there, close at hand, so you can quickly visit when you want to record anything that occurs to you.
5. Start teaching yourself to identify inner landscape that accompanies your food intake. Focus on moments before you ate: How did you feel at time? Were you (genuinely) hungry - create a 1 to 10 rating scale for yourself, ranging from "not really" up to "starved, faint, light-headed." Were you bored? Were you anxious and trying to calm yourself down? Were you angry and stuffing that anger down your own throat? Were you feeling sorry for yourself? Were you with good friends and just wanted to be part of group? Were you just not thinking? Were you trying to punish yourself -or someone else? You may find that you ate several times a day for same reason or that triggers to eat differed throughout day depending upon circumstances and people involved at time.