- It can help you keep an accurate count of calories, carbs, sodium, etc. Just because you "forgot" about that ice cream cone at lunch, doesn't mean you didn't eat it - those calories still count.
- It can help to make sure you're getting an adequate amount of fruits and veggies - 5 a day is recommended, but if you aim for 8-10 by replacing other foods with fruits and veggies, you'll surely be aiding your weight loss efforts.
- It can help you make sure you're getting enough water in daily.
- It can help you determine if you're eating because you're hungry or because you're bored, angry, etc.
- It can help you to stay motivated by providing the positive reinforcement that the scale doesn't always provide.
- It can help you to stay focused on the most important goal: Eating Healthy. If you have a healthy, nutritious diet, the weight will come off as a result.
- It can help you be accountable for what you're actually eating.
- It can help you make sure you're getting in enough physical activity.
Putting everything down on paper will make your eating, drinking, exercise and emotional patterns much easier to analyze. Being able to make sense of all the components necessary for effective weight loss with help you to make any necessary adjustment that will get you headed on the road to success!
There are tons of online & phone app food / weight loss diaries out there, but my personal favorite is LoseIt! I've been using it for a couple of years now, but just within the last six months or so I've really gotten "into it". It has proved immensely helpful - I log absolutely every morsel that passes my lips and helps me stay within my daily calorie allotment. They also have challenges that you can join to help keep you motivated in addition to forums to provide support and answer questions from members. Daily exercise is also logged with your foods and it adjusts your calorie allotment based upon whatever exercise you have performed that day. It will also synch up with your fitbit or other fitness monitors.