Accountability is key when starting a diet and exercise plan. But who are you accountable to? No one is as invested in your success as you are, so you are ultimately accountable to yourself. For many of us, this accountability is difficult to accept and enforce. It’s so easy to make up excuses or rationalize behavior that the accountability factor is often a lost opportunity.
Keeping a food diary allows you to be accountable to yourself in a more effective way. When you write down all the food you eat in a food diary, there are no excuses or rationalizations. The paper doesn’t lie–more calories a day than you are supposed to eat is more calories, whether you had a bad day or a good day.
Keeping a food diary also takes some of the stress away from the diet. You no longer have to guess and try to remember what you consumed. It’s all written down for you. Food diaries can also help you spot trends. You may notice that there are certain days of the week or month you eat more than usual. Figure out what these days have in common and use that as a weapon to break the cycle.