Dear Diary
Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

See all posts »

Dear Diary

A very interesting new study in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that people who kept a food diary lost twice as much weight as those people in the study who did not keep a record. The researchers state that the simple act of writing down what you eat encourages consuming fewer calories.

Keeping a record of what you eat doesn't need to be elaborate. You can simply write down what you eat in a notebook or on your computer. You can keep a diary in many different ways. The most simplistic is just writing down what you ate. However, you can include as much or as little information as you desire.

Here are some things people like to record:
  • Time of day of meal or snack
  • How you felt (hunger, fullness)
  • Mood/emotions
  • Physical symptoms (headache, gas, indigestion, etc.)
  • Who you ate with (alone, with family, etc.)
  • Where you were when you ate (car, desk, kitchen table)
  • Number of calories, carbs, fat, protein, sodium, fiber, etc.)
  • Number of points (Weight Watchers)

If you want to know how many calories (or carbs, protein, fat, etc.) you are eating, there are quite a few online diet tracking programs. Some are free, and some charge a small fee.

Check out one of the following:

Get logging and see the pounds melt really is amazing how much you can learn from writing down what you eat and counting the calories in one of these programs.

  • 1
Was this article helpful? Yes No

About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

Recent Blog Posts