After my husband proposed to me, one of the first things I did was get a trainer.  Like so many brides, I wanted to look amazing on my big day.  One of the first things my trainer had me do was a food diary.  What?  I eat healthy, duh!  But its interesting what you think you eat versus what you really eat in a day.

If you are trying to lose weight, or can’t figure out why you aren’t losing those last 10 lbs, maybe its what you are eating.  Many of us believe we are eating healthy, proportioned food and are making the “right” choices when we eat out.  But if you take an honest look at what you are eating…and I mean honest…you may find some surprises that will make all the difference in your weight loss goals. One study found that people who used a food diary for at least six days per week lost about twice as much weight in six months as those who didn’t use such a diary.

Keeping a diary is simple, here’s how:

First, get yourself a small notebook that can easily fit in your purse or laptop bag.

Second, write down everything you eat and drink and note the time of day.  Write the amount of food as well such as 12-0z can of diet coke, 2 eggs and 1 medium banana, 3 Hershey kisses from the receptionist desk…and 3 more before I left for the day.

Third, be honest.  Even if you know you are splurging, write it down.  Why lie to yourself?  This is supposed to help you see what you are eating, even if its an indulgence.  You may even see some behavior patterns like you ate that glazed donut because you were anxious about a presentation, or you had a really bad day and needed a Snickers bar to pick you up.

Finally, read over your diary at the end of the week.  How did you really do?  Do you see any patterns like a sugar fix at 3pm?  Maybe you aren’t drinking enough water to keep you hydrated.  And if you aren’t sure, talk to a nutritionist or a personal trainer.  Even investing in a professional occasionally will help you achieve that final goal.