The No. 1 Diet ToolPosted on Nov 19th 2010 11:00AM by That's Fit Editors
Dieters who log their intake are the most likely to lose, found experts at Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore. The reason: Food diaries reveal your diet saboteurs in black and white. Pick up a pen to learn what's standing between you and success.
Take stock. Jot down every bite for four days, including a weekend day, without changing your diet. At the end of each day, look up each food you wrote down and tally up the calories. "Seeing the total is an eye-opener," said Rebecca Reeves, registered dietitian and professor of medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
Analyze your records. Draw an X when more than four hours went by without eating, circle high-calorie meals, highlight fruits and veggies, and underline anything that triggered guilt after you ate it.
Rehab your eating. For day five and beyond, change your diet based on your notes. Replace X's with 150-calorie snacks to downsize circled meals. No highlights on day two? Hit the produce aisle! Didn't need those underlined cookies before bed? No late-night snack tonight!
Make it last. Find a food-logging method to fit your life: Desk jockeys can enter eats online; on-the-go dieters can use a notebook or BlackBerry. Once you've met your goal, revisit your journal occasionally to spot sneaky calorie creeps and keep off the weight you lost.
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