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1. You have to start somewhere.

Food diaries are a great way to begin your weight management journey. They give you a starting point and a benchmark by which to compare your ongoing consumption. Just the act of logging your daily intake brings into focus your habitual food choices. This is information, data if you like, and we can work with this. If what you’ve been doing so far hasn’t been effective for you, then your food diary will help you to identify unhealthy patterns.

2.  It forces you to be honest with yourself

If you truly want to make some healthy choices then you have to understand where you’re currently going wrong. It’s tempting to ignore the calories contained in that stolen chip, the last few mouthfuls from the kid’s dinner, or the habitual nightcap as you unwind in the evening. But if you consume it, you have to log it and take responsibility. This honesty prompts you to question the decisions you make about your food choices.

3.  It’s information to give to your trainer/dietitian

It’s really difficult to give anyone advice on nutrition and exercise when you don’t have all the information. Accurate food diaries give health professionals a valuable overview which enables them to make smart recommendations early on, and saves them from a certain amount of trial and error.

4.  It gives you choices, and a sense of control

Every item on your food diary is there because of a choice you made. Now you’ve ‘owned’ that choice you’ve brought it into focus and now have an opportunity to question the circumstances around it. Was it an emotional decision, an habitual purchase, an easy option? When you understand why you make your decisions involving food, you create an awareness that enables you to evaluate and challenge those less than ideal choices. As you learn to make better choices, you gain control, which is empowering.

5.  You become an authority on you

You are unique. Oh yes you are! As such, you have an opportunity to be the worlds foremost authority on yourself. I mean, why would you blindly follow the advice of others without seizing the chance to take ultimate control for yourself. A trainer or dietitian can give you a plan to follow, but only you are able to take advantage of the day by day, minute by minute feedback that your body gives you. When you tune into what your body’s telling you, you develop an instinct for what’s working and what isn’t. This also has a positive impact on your ability to make healthy lifestyle choices in a wider sense. This is a massive step towards building confidence and total self-reliance.

6.  Nostalgia

Even after you’ve successfully transformed your life, it’s great to look back and reflect on just how far you’ve come. When something becomes an accepted part of our everyday existence we tend to forget the journey we took in order to achieve it. Looking back at your old food diaries is a reminder of what you’re capable of, and a confidence boost should you need inspiration for any other challenge you may struggle with.