Document Your Diet


We’ve all seen those dramatic before-and-after photos of successful dieters. Alfred Hitchcock even used this form of diet success proof to make his signature cameo appearance in the movie Lifeboat.

lifeboat cameo alfred hitchcock before and after

In the past, such before-and-after pictures were used as sales devices. Photographic proof of the effectiveness of a diet or fitness program is powerful evidence.

But such pictures are even more valuable to the dieter or exerciser. It’s a way to measure your personal progress.

It’s also as private as you want it to be. With today’s photographic technology – in your laptop computer, in your tablet, in your smartphone – you can easily keep a personal photographic diary that only you will see. And because “seeing is believing,” you can start believing that your efforts are paying off.

Try taking a picture of yourself on a regular basis during your program. Use similar lighting, a similar pose, even the same location if possible. The best comparison of any subject is when all the other elements of the picture are unchanged.

Having a series of comparative pictures can be a great personal progress report. It can be your incentive to continue, and it can also be your reward for a diet well done.

And when all is said and done, you can always post the first picture and the last picture of your diet on Facebook for your own public bragging satisfaction.

Other Documentation

Keeping a daily record of your weight is an easy and effective method of motivation. Make it a natural part of your morning bathroom visit. Step on the scale, jot down the number. Don’t worry about the day-to-day fluctuation in your weight. You’re looking for progress over a longer period of time. After days and weeks, you’ll see bona fide progress.

Another numbers-oriented record is, of course, calorie-counting. This takes a bit more effort than just weighing in once a day. Even if you’re capturing a general sense of your calorie intake, it means keeping track of every meal.

If you are truly serious about counting your calories, you’ll need to start measuring the amount of each food you eat. Keep a log of some king. There are free apps like MyNetDiary that help you with this. That same app will let you know the calorie content of most foods, as well as their nutritional value.

Count the Good Stuff, Too

That last point is important. In any event – whether you’re on a diet or not – you should always try to get the proper amount of nutrients every day. When you start reducing your food intake and even cutting things entirely out of your regular diet, be very careful not to eliminate things your body needs to be healthy.

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