Can keeping a food diary actually help you to lose more weight and then keep it off?
Some of the most beneficial tricks to help you lose weight are also some of the simplest in application.
According to a recent study published by Kaiser Permanente, dieters who were interested in achieving a healthier lifestyle lost nearly twice as much weight simply by keeping a daily record of all the food they consumed. 
Even better news is that during this study, the longer the participants maintained their food journals, the more weight they lost overall.
How to Keep a Food Journal
Keeping a food journal is simple and straightforward; there is no particular skill needed to do it effectively and reap the benefits.
So when you have decided to start tracking your food intake, the most important rule is just to write down every single thing that you consume throughout the day.
Start out with your basic meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Then you can start taking note of any small snacks and everything else in between.
Most dieters overlook sneaky, calorie and sugar-saturated extras like carbonated beverages, energy drinks and gum, which can quickly add up to more pounds on the scale.
And make sure to write down everything you eat and drink as soon as possible, which will minimize the likelihood of forgetting something or just being lazy and not tracking your food for the day at all.
As far as the actual journal goes, you can use a traditional journal or just use a simple notebook.
There are also many different templates, spreadsheets and sample food diaries that you can find by doing a search online.
You can also scan templates from many popular diet and weight loss books.
What Information Should You List?
Depending on the specific health concern you are dealing with, a food diary can be adjusted to meet a variety of goals, not just weight loss.
Whether you simply want to watch your overall calories and fat intake for weight loss, or you want to observe sugar and carbohydrate intake for diabetic reasons, a food journal can be a great tool for improving your eating habits and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
And a food diary doesn’t have to be strictly for logging you food either.
Your exercise routine and any other physical activity can also be incorporated into your food diary, as this will give you a much larger picture of your calories both consumed and burned.
Options for Keeping a Food Log
The main goal of maintaining a food diary is that it will give you an honest reflection of the types of foods you are consuming and how they are impacting both your weight and your health issues.
Therefore, finding a method that you are likely to keep up with for the long term is a vital component to the process.
With that said, there are two main ways to keep your journal: the traditional way with a pen and paper, and the modern way with the use of an electronic device and the Internet.
Each of these ways has their respective benefits, and experimenting with both options is a good way for you to find the method that works best for you and meets your needs.
Dieters who are not technology-savvy, or who like to have the convenience of being able to access their journal anytime and anywhere, might find the traditional pen and paper method to be a good choice.
However, if you like being able to do things via the web, you will discover that there are many free and paid apps that you can use to track your progress.
There are also websites that offer dieters free and low-cost membership where you can keep an electronic version of your food journal.
The benefit of using an app or website is that many of them provide nutritional information on each food that you log.
This means that you can track detailed information about each meal that you eat and you’ll also be able to accurately track your total calories and nutrients for the day.
In a world where the obese and overweight population is steadily on the rise and more people are developing conditions like diabetes and heart disease, anything that can keep you motivated and prompt healthier habits is worth a try.
Maintaining a food journal is one of the easiest and most effective low cost methods for helping you to lose weight faster and achieve your health goals.
Give it a go for a month and you will certainly see how effective it really can be!