Why Marcus, why why why?
It’s quite possibly the question I get asked most frequently! Why do I have to fill out a food diary? It often baffles me why people in general who so badly want to lose weight have so much trouble investing 5 minutes a day to help achieve that goal. I won’t lie to you, the food diary is the most powerful weapon I have against body fat. Yes I’m passionate about fitness, yes I love talking about fitness all day long and boring my clients to tears. Is it fitness that gets YPT the results and success it’s so proud of? No. It’s the humble food diary. I could train an individual 5 times a week to breaking point but if his/her food is not on point, I simply have no control over their weight.
The American Journal of Preventative Medicine (August edition) published a study that included 1,685 overweight/obese American adults aged 25 and over. On average the participants lost 13lbs over 6 months. The most powerful predictor of the weight loss was how many days a week they kept their diary for. â€œThose who filled their diary out for 6 days a week lost about twice as much weight as those who completed their food diary just one day a week.â€ – Victor Stephens , PHD, Senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Centre for Health Research in Portland, Ore.
When I started personal training nine years ago I never really understood the importance of the food diary, I simply suggested to people it could be advantageous for them to fill one out. Now for my clients who want to loose weight, completing a food diary is obligatory for as long as we have a professional relationship together. I simply cannot deliver success without it. People invest a lot of time, money and indeed trust into YPT and we work hard to make that investment pay off, but for that to happen one must simply do as we ask.
Why does it work? Well for many reasons. Firstly in my experience the vast majority of people underestimate how much they eat, over estimate the quality of the food they eat and indeed over estimate the amount of exercise they do. A well kept food diary will cut through the illusions and provide both YPT and the client with clarity and transparency. Then over a period of weeks we spend time fine tuning the food diary slowly but surely to ensure it is sustainable. Then we simply request consistency and over time and indeed in some instances sub-consciously we create healthy, balanced, sustainable habits.
Look out for part 2 of this blog post where I’ll giving you practical ways to make a food diary work for you.
In the meantime, have a look at this post on the 5 items you need to start running