It has probably been said a million times over but I personally believe a food diary is absolutely essential. It is so easy to kid yourself otherwise. When I started out - I had 1500 calories a day in mind- I bought a notepad and calorie counter book, and because of time constraints for the first week I only wrote down what I was eating, I didn't actually tally it up until about a week later. What a shock! I had hardly reduced my calorie intake at all, so I learnt from that. Then last Sunday I did the same- it was a day where I could have what I liked so we decided on takeaway as it had been awhile and I was sick of cooking. In the morning I had a quick look at the calorie book and decided on a burger with egg and cheese ( 550 calories) I had only had 2 cuppas and half of a sandwich all day. At the last minute other half asks if I would like a potato cake or scallop as well. I thought- why not- I haven't had much today so I had 2 of those as well. Next day at my morning cuppa I tallied up the previous days calories and to my horror I HAD CONSUMED 2650 calories!!!! I was sooooo annoyed. Basically I had undone the entire previous weeks dieting efforts. I consoled myself by saying that at least I exercised everyday, so some good must come out of that.
Then last night I got the munchies and decided on a salada biscuit with some chicken on it. I got everything out to make it, and my food diary was sitting there, open, and I looked and saw that I had already reached 1522 for the today, I asked my self if I really really wanted it- told myself my tally would change to nearly 1700 for the day- and that was enough to say no. Put everything back and never gave it another thought.
So as you can see, the food diary is vital to me-
A closed mouth gathers no feet