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Ultimate Diet Log

ultimatedietlogOne reader wrote, "Thank you for the work you put into The Ultimate Diet Log. In a market that is saturated with diet tips, tricks and journals – yours stands out. It's easy to keep track of, fun to write in and easy to read. I purchased The Ultimate Diet Log at Barnes and Noble after flipping through each diet journal they offered. Yours was the only one with flexibility in meal times, an exercise log and tons of pertinent information. Thanks!!"  -Sarah Berger

For this project, Cynthia teamed up with Suzanne Schlosberg, author of numerous health and fitness books including the best selling Ultimate Workout Log, Fitness for Dummies, Weight Training for Dummies and many others, to create a first-of-its-kind food and exercise diary.

The Ultimate Diet Log is a unique food and exercise diary that fits any weight loss plan or health goal. Whether you want to lose weight, drink more water, trade in refined carbs for whole grains or learn to overcome overeating, this personalized tool can help you succeed.

Research shows that a food and exercise log is, simply, the most powerful way to make lasting lifestyle changes. A recent study from Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research found that keeping a food diary can double your weight loss. The study's lead author called a food diary "hands down, the most successful weight-loss method."

You may have tried to keep a food diary before only to abandon it a few weeks later, but this log is much more than a journal for recording what and how much you eat.

Here are some key features

  • A 5-day personal inventory: You'll start by tracking your habits in great detail for five days and then analyzing the results. Once you've identified your strengths and weaknesses, you'll narrow your focus to a few key priorities.
  • A flexible format. The Ultimate Diet Log format is versatile enough to accommodate any healthy and reasonable eating plan. We help you figure out where to start based on your needs, on your terms.
  • An emphasis on goal setting. We prompt you to record daily, weekly, and six-month eating and exercise goals and then to revisit these goals and take a good, hard look at whether you achieved them.
  • Practical tips to implement your goals. Discovering that you're short on fiber is only a first step. You also need to know how to jack up those fiber grams, by learning, for instance, which foods have the most fiber and mastering simple ways to sneak fiber into your favorite dishes. As a bonus, this log features loads of useful tips, tricks, and tidbits for putting your plans into action.

Cynthia and Suzanne's goal isn't to shame you into eating less because you'll have to write it down. It's to coach, guide and support you through making changes that will help you look and feel great, inside and out; changes that last a lifetime (oh and to have some fun along the way!).

Here's an excerpt from the introduction

OK, folks, it's pop-quiz time!

  • Question #1: How many grams of fiber have you eaten today? Eight? Eighteen? Thirty?
  • Question #2: How many daily vegetable servings have you averaged this week? One? Two-and-a-half? Four?
  • Question #3: How many sodas, lattes or sweetened teas do you sip, guzzle, or slurp in a typical month? Twelve? Twenty-four? Sixty?

If you haven't a clue how to answer these questions, welcome to the club! Most of us are simply not aware of how our eating habits stack up – life is too busy to sit around counting fiber grams, isn't it?

Yet this lack of awareness is precisely what's stopping many of us from losing weight or making the dietary improvements that will reduce our chances of developing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. If you don't know what your habits are, how can you go about improving them?

The log you're holding is about to change everything. Monitoring your habits is like turning up the lights and peering into one of those magnifying mirrors that facialists use when inspecting your pores: You really see what's going on, in ways that simply weren't apparent before – and aren't always so attractive.

Food and exercise diaries work because they keep you honest. Suddenly, you can't fool yourself about how much saturated fat or how few whole grains you eat. What's more, your log will reveal patterns in your habits – clues that might explain why, after three months of dieting, you still can't zip up favorite jeans.

When you actually see on paper that you're eating sweets twice a day rather than a few times a week, as you assumed, the awareness strengthens the connection between your thoughts and your actions.

Think of it as a gradual process, what we call the Four Stages of Food Awareness.

  • In stage one – before you start your diary - you aren't consciously aware of what you've eaten, much like the restaurant goers who said they didn't eat any bread.
  • In stage two, a few days to a couple weeks after you begin self-monitoring, you realize what you ate after the fact. For example, as you toss an empty potato-chip bag into the trash, it hits you that you just polished off the entire bag in one sitting.
  • In stage three, a few weeks later (if you're consistent about keeping your journal), you become aware of what you're eating in real time. Halfway through that maple scone, it dawns on you that you weren't even hungry when you ordered it.
  • Finally, you reach stage four, when your mindfulness catches up to your actions. For instance, you're about to reach for a donut in the break room and you stop, because at that moment, you connect your pattern to your habit. You might think: I had a cake donut yesterday and that peanut-butter cookie after lunch and some frozen yogurt after dinner. Maybe I'll grab an apple instead. This is the point at which real change takes place...

To read more, check out the book, available at book stores everywhere.

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