When you first join Slimming World they ask you to complete a food diary for the first four weeks, I think this is a great idea as it allows you to see what you have eaten (anyone else always forget that afternoon chocolate biscuit) and it helps your consultant to see how you are adapting to the plan and whether you need any guidance.
If I’m honest, I think a food diary is one of the best ways to stay on track with any diet, not just Slimming World. If you are counting calories how do you remember how many you have had already if you don’t write it down somewhere. I know there are apps out there like My Fitness Pal that can do it for you but I still much prefer the old fashioned pen and paper.
When I have had the most success with my weight loss it has been when I have continued to diarise my meals beyond the first four weeks, it keeps me accountable for what I eat and helps me to inspire myself by having a record to look back on.
If you nibble it, scribble it!
That is such a great moto, and it really does work, for me anyway! It doesn’t have to be expensive either, if you’re a Slimming World member simply ask your consultant for more food diary papers, it’s free. If you want to keep a book style diary you can buy them online although I have found they only last for around 8 weeks and then you need to buy a new one. As someone who really benefits from writing it all down I’ve decided to make my own, here’s what I’ve done:
I bought a really cute lined paper notebook and some super cute pens from T K Maxx, the note book says Important Business on the front and trust me, this is important business.
At the start of my Food Diary I have dedicated a page to my current start weight, what I am going to do this week and noting down any challenges I might face in the next 7 days, this page will be repeated at the beginning of every new week. I find that by being aware of things that may trip me up in advance I am better prepared for them when they happen. For example, on Sunday this week it is one of my best friend’s birthday meal at an Italian restaurant. Not great for my first week but I know it is coming, I can look at the menu in advance and make a smart choice.
I’ve already completed my first page of the book and I’m a little too embarrassed to show you my start weight at the moment so here’s the repeated page ready for week two.
Next I have created a food entry log for each day of the upcoming week. Broken down into breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks. I’ve also added a tally at the end of each page to record my used syns, amount of water I’ve had and how many steps I’ve recorded on my Fitbit. Losing weight is not just about what you eat, that’s a huge chunk of it but you also have to drink a lot and get yourself moving. I’ve set a goal of 2ltr of water and 8000 steps a day. It will be interesting to look back on good weight loss weeks and see how many times I achieved these goals.
Lastly I’ve added a Weekly Review page to be completed after my weigh in at group. My plan is to complete this page on a Thursday afternoon when I have time to reflect on what I have done well this week and what I could have improved on.
Have you guessed what’s next? Yep, rinse and repeat for week two. I plan to spend a little time on Thursdays completing the weekly review and new week pages, writing out the food segments for the next 7 days so that during the week all I have to do is write down what I eat and I can’t use the excuse of not having time to fill out the pages.
I hope this has been helpful, remember you can create your own food diary to suit the type of food and lifestyle changes you want to make. The important step is just to remember to fill it in.
I find this so helpful to keep me on track, what do you guys find keeps you focused on your goals?