The answer is a resounding yes, according to nutritionist Keren Gilbert, MS, RD, author of The HD Diet. That’s because writing down the things we eat actually plays a surprisingly big role in what we eat, she says. Because of that fact, Gilbert, founder and president of Decision Nutrition, helps clients who suffer from any number of nutrition-based health conditions, like those ranging from high cholesterol to obesity. By allowing her new clients to put together a three-day diet recall, which involves writing down in-depth information about the food they ate at randomly-chosen intervals that week, she believes it helps them to get their diet and nutrition regimen on track like it’s never been before.
For those of us that utilize planners to get through the week, we should all know how much more likely we are to stick to something or be aware of it if we write it down first. Weekly food journals follow that same line of thinking, that we can all become a little bit more accountable if we are truly made aware of what we are putting into our bodies.
Gilbert’s clients are each asked to keep a weekly food log to help monitor his/her progress, which can help every individual “figure out” ways in which certain foods affect them during their weight loss journey, Gilbert offers. For example, if a client loses weight one week, then he/she can go back and check their food log to see what it is they ate so they know what to stick with for future weekly weight loss. Knowing this, perhaps it’s no surprise that the people who upkeep their food log are the ones more likely to “succeed on the diet,” she continues.
Janet R. Laubgross, PhD, a clinical psychologist and weight-loss specialist, contends that maintaining a weekly food log helps “take the judgment out of eating” because it tells it to you straight– without all the emotional baggage we normally associate with looking back on our poor dietary decisions. Instead of getting down about eating too many chips, she says, you can motivate yourself by saying, “’Next time, I’ll get a smaller bag.’ It’s not good or bad– it just is.”
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