Track your eating and exercise habits

Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight for life begins with making gradual lifestyle changes you can stick with forever.

The ALL YOU Reality-Checked Diet gives you detailed tips and instructions to gradually change your current habits into healthier ones. You will lose weight (about 1 pound per week) without feeling deprived or overwhelmed.

Getting Started

Take Action Tip: Track Your Eating and Exercise Habits

For your first week only, we'd like you to write down everything you eat and drink. We'll call it a food log. Doing this will increase your awareness of food choices and portions, making it less likely that you'll pop something into your mouth to sabotage your weight-loss efforts. Here's how to get started:

1.  Find a small notebook that is easy to carry in your purse or bag.

2.  Make three columns on each page for recording the time, type of food or drink you consume and the amount or portion.

3.  Anytime you eat or drink anything -- big or small -- record it (non-judgmentally) in your notebook.

4.  At the bottom of each page, record any exercise you did (such as walking, biking, doing an exercise video or going to a class at the gym) and for how long you did it.

At the end of the week, answer the following Log Evaluation Questions, which will reveal which habits are causing you to gain weight. Zeroing in on these habits will make it easier for you to change them for good.

If you answer no to any of the questions below, that's an area you need to improve on, so keep an eye out for targeted tips over the next three months.

  • Do I eat three healthy and balanced meals each day on a set schedule?
  • Do I choose healthy snacks no more than twice a day?
  • Do I only drink beverages with fewer than 15 calories per 8-ounce serving?
  • Do I eat less than 150 calories worth of "junk" food, such as chips, cookies and candy, per day?
  • Do I eat only when I am hungry and not because I'm stressed or bored?
  • Do I eat perfect portion sizes for my meals and snacks?
  • Do I eat at least two cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables each day?
  • Do I exercise for 30 minutes at least three days a week?
  • Do I do some sort of strength-building activity at least once a week?