is the first step toward making it happen.
~ Lee Iacocca
Studies have shown that keeping a food journal is one of the most powerful tools in the dieter's arsenal.
So why don't I keep a food journal?
I bought a nifty software program that I used for months (not that it helped me lose any weight or anything), but as I have shifted my diet toward eating more whole foods and fewer processed products, the program has become more cumbersome. In order to calculate the nutritional data in my Friday night pizza, I have to enter each ingredient incorporated in the crust and each topping, then divide by six or four, depending on how big I cut the pieces.
Much more time-consuming than just clicking on one of Pizza Hut's menu items or one of the frozen selections at the market.
I liked using it, 'cause I'm geeky and 'cause it did all the calculations for me. It even created a pie chart (mmm, pie!) displying the breakdown of protein, fat and carbs, which was very helpful when I was following a low-carb/high-protein plan.
As my meal plans have moved toward real food, I'm leaning toward using a notebook and a pencil to record my food data. But I'd still have to calculate the data for Friday night pizza one ingredient at a time.
So the ultimate question is: How badly do I want to be thin? What am I willing to do? I'll admit I haven't put my heart and soul into this lately. After three years of slowly gaining and/or staying the same, it has become more and more difficult to stick to a plan that feels like no fun at all.
I'm reading The End of Overeating, and have finally gotten to the last few chapters where the author really gets down to the nitty-gritty of developing your own personal plan for weight control. And while he says it must not feel restrictive (because restrictive diets are doomed to fail), I have to admit my mind isn't ready for such a complete overhaul.
But I wrote this stuff down, so maybe I'm taking the first step.