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How to Start a Weight-Loss Program

How to Use a Diet Diary

Losing weight is the easy part when we consider lifestyle change. Keeping lost weight from finding you again is the single biggest challenge facing today's dieter. Does anything help? The answer from researchers at the Duke University Diet & Fitness Center is a resounding yes. Studies of successful "losers" show that they developed a habit of keeping a daily diary.

Diary keeping seems to aid weight control in three ways by facilitating:

  1. Focus: Daily diary keeping helps individuals remind themselves of, and focus on, the importance of their personal health goals.

  2. Planning: Failure to plan regular meals and daily physical activity is the single biggest pitfall dieters face when attempting to make lifestyle changes. A goal without a plan is just a wish...and we all know that wishing doesn't make it so. Plan meals and fitness activity at least a day, preferably a week, ahead of time. Make your plan a realistic one that considers your other activities and responsibilities.

    Once you have a plan, stick to it. If you do deviate from your plan, write it down. Include things like when and where it happened and who you were with. Later, you can use such information to help you identify and prepare for high-risk situations.

  3. Reflection: Keeping a daily diary is an extremely important tool for self-monitoring. Your diary will help you see patterns in your behavior that are moving you toward or away from your goals. Remember, it's important to monitor and praise yourself for progress in areas other than just weight.

For whatever weight-loss plan you choose, you can use the advice in our next section to loose weight.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.