Lots of times, I hear people say that they eat very little (often saying 900 calories or so) a day, and yet, they never lose weight. If you feel this way, keeping a food journal is a great idea to track what you really eat, but even a food journal might not be accurate.
Today, I decided to keep track of my food in a paper notebook writing down each item before I ate it, but I still missed some things. Below is what was written in my paper journal. For the most part it is accurate, but there were some things that I forgot to record. The first was at lunch time. My girl friend made a hot artichoke dip that she wanted my to try. I had some of the dip on a pretzel. Then she left one triscuit on her plate, and I had that too.
When I was making dinner, I sampled the filling for the chicken puffs a couple of times to make sure that it was right, and I took an extra puff at the end of the meal that wasn't on my list. Now, you could say that I just have exceptionally poor discipline, and you may be right. On the other hand, most people consider me an extreme rule follower. (That is the view I have of myself too.) Yet, I didn't record everything! I remember it this time, but I am sure I could make mistakes other times too. How often do you take something, try something, pop something in your mouth without really thinking about it? I am not saying that those aren't good things to do if they give you joy. I am saying that it is important to make sure that they are choices that you are aware of and not mindless things.
Another source of hidden food in your diet can be underestimating your portion sizes. Research studies have shown that even when people use measuring implements, they tend to heap them up a bit adding up to significantly more food over the course of a day than they think they have eaten. I don't think that it is necessary to accurately measure your food for life, but if you are unhappy with your weight, it might be a good idea to keep a journal for awhile. Just keep in mind that the most accurate way to measure is with a scale!
Food & Exercise
9:45 breakfast - coffee beverage (1 c. 2% milk, 3/4 c. water, 1 T. instant coffee, 3 packets aspartame based sweetener), fruited oatmeal (1 large apple, 1 medium banana, 1/2 c. oats, 3 packets aspartame based sweetener, 1/4 t. cinnamon, 1/4 t. allspice, 1 c. water)
12:20 snack - coffee (2 c. water, 1 T. instant coffee, 3 packets aspartame based sweetener, 1 T. liquid nondairy creamer), 1 c. grapefruit juice, 1 c. water, 1/4 c. walnuts
2:15 walk - 1.4 miles, medium speed
3:15 lunch - banana, cajun turkey sandwich (2 thin slices of white sandwich bread, 3 oz. cajun turkey, 1/2 t. dijon mustard), 1 c. canned spinach, 1 c. water, 1 c. diet Dr. Thunder
9:00 dinner - 6 buffalo chicken puffs, medium size buffalo chicken salad, 1/4 of a large butternut squash with 1 T. butter