Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Food Diaries

I just read a study that reports great success for people who use a food diary while on a diet. In fact, the results indicate that those who kept food records lost two times more weight than those who did not.
I'm totally incapable of keeping a food diary. Of writing down what I really eat. Of being honest about it. With myself and with others.
I had to keep a diary in a college class on nutrition assessment. I lied. Every day. For every meal. I never once wrote down what I actually ate. Because I couldn't face the truth of my diet. How many sodas? Don't ask. And ice cream? One quart? So I made it all up. On paper, I was perfect. In real life, not so much!
Grilled chicken, steamed broccoli, brown rice. Doesn't that sound tasty? Not. But it sure is "healthy". That's the kind of meal I would record in my diary. Did my instructor really think I, chubby Sharon, was eating that way?
Food diaries are great for people who are eating mindlessly. Those who are not aware of the handful of this and the bite of that. I am mindful of what I eat. Aware of every mouthful of food. I may not know the total calorie count for the day but I know when I've had something that would have better been left in the box or on the shelf or in the frig. I know when I've eaten more than my share. And I care. I care after it's over but not when I'm eating it. The pleasure of delicious food overrides my good sense.

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