The value of food journals

Keeping track of what you eat can aid in weight loss

Photos.com/Courtesy<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Food journals help you become aware of what you are consuming and allows you to examine your eating habits, so you can make changes to promote weight loss.

Photos.com/Courtesy<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Food journals help you become aware of what you are consuming and allows you to examine your eating habits, so you can make changes to promote weight loss.

Have you heard yourself say, "I have tried everything and I can't lose weight," or "I eat the same way that I have always eaten but I am gaining weight."

At times when the weight doesn't seem to be coming off, food journals can be very beneficial. If you do not keep track of what you eat by using food journals, now may be the time to start.

1. Look for times when you ate a little extra. Are you noting accurate portion sizes? If not, then you're probably not weighing and measuring your food. This may be allowing extra calories into your day, which will lead to maintaining or possibly gaining weight.

2. Look for times when you ate too little. For example, you may notice that you tend to skip breakfast. Breakfast is important to jump-starting your metabolism for the day.

Even if you don't skip breakfast, take a look at your food choices. Are you consuming protein at breakfast? Protein will help you be energized and feel full longer. Selecting good protein sources such as skim milk, yogurt or eggs combined with complex carbohydrates (whole wheat bread or high fiber fruit) is a great boost for the day.

3. Look at your meal times. Are you consuming three meals with no snacks, or one large meal with several snacks? Try to spread your food out evenly among four to six meal and snack times. This will help boost your metabolism, help your body burn calories more efficiently, and prevent energy dips during the day.

4. Examine your food selections. Are you consuming high fiber selections? Fiber is important to helping you feel full and curbing your appetite between meals.

If your choices don't tend to be high in fiber, focus more on incorporating high fiber foods or consider adding Diet Center Fulfill Drinks or Fiber Capsules to your diet.

5. Look at the last time you ate. Are you snacking late at night? Is there a big gap between meals? Again, spreading out meal and snack times will help keep your metabolism up and burning calories, and keep your appetite in check.

6. Make sure you get about eight hours of sleep each night. If you consistently lack sleep not only will you have low energy levels, but research shows that people tend to compensate for a lack of energy with food.

Keeping track of what you eat doesn't just help keep you aware of what you're consuming. It allows you to examine your eating habits, so you can have a clearer picture of where you can make significant changes to promote weight loss.

For more information on weight loss goals, Diet Center can be reached at (928) 753-5066. Diet Center is located at 1848 Hope Ave.