It was very helpful to have written down everything I ate for a week. I recommend it for anyone wanting to start eating better. Sometimes we think we know where we are going wrong, or we don't understand how we can possibly be so fat. Keeping the diary and trying to add up the calories can tell you the who what when where of the mystery.
I found out that I was eating, on average, about 2400 calories a day, just about 300 over what I should. That is not really much, a can of coke, a handful or two of chips and before I knew it, it added up to over 50 extra pounds. I also found out that I was eating these extra 300 or so calories, mostly at night after 10 pm. That is when I usually unwind, watch a little TV or something, and like to snack. I am never usually hungry, but it is comforting, entertaining.
One of the things I decided to do was to do my blogging at that time of night instead, maybe when I have to post about how fat I am I might have to think twice before I begin to graze. Another thing, and this is harder, is to try and get to bed then. I think the best thing I have tried to do, and so far has been effective, is just counting my calories during the day, cutting back enough so that I can have a 300 calorie snack after 10 pm. That seems to be working so far.
When I was keeping the diary I did not hold back any eating, I just tried to do what I was normally doing and quickly jot it down in a small notebook that nobody would really take notice of. I wrote down what I ate, how much and what time. I also wrote down how I was feeling after I ate, was I hungry, did I feel stuffed, etc. This is not really important, but it gave me insight into the fact that I got full after about 400-500 calories at a single meal. If I ate over 600 I was uncomfortable. I think I was often uncomfortable, which is why I always seemed to hate myself so much.
Using the nutrition label info, or looking it up in a small calorie book I have, I was able to add it all up at the end of the night. Another thing I did, and this is important, was to weigh myself before I began the diary and after. This is important because you want to try and figure out how many calories it takes to support your weight, or what your metabolism is. That info was needed if I was going to try and figure out a workable plan. Like I said, I discovered I ate about 2400 calories on average, my weight stayed the same 220, so dividing 2400 by 220 I was able to figure out that my metabolism was about 11 calories per pound.
Okay, now as you lose weight your metabolism actually begins to rise slightly, so figuring that at 175 pounds my metabolism would be 12 calories per pound, my healthy weight would be around 2100 calories, only 300 less than what I was eating. That means if I could cut down the calories by only that much, I could eventually lose the weight. It also shows you how little is needed to gain and lose so much weight.
These numbers were pretty damn close to the estimate from the Webmd.com site, which I have included here for anyone who wants to check it out. http://my.webmd.com/content/tools/1/calc_metabolism.htm?z=1671_00000_0000_tq_05
This should be the very beginning of anyones diet plans, you can gain great insight into your eating habits and give yourself a tremendous edge when you go to begin a another diet plan. Find out the what, when, where of your extra pounds!