After I started working out at the gym for a period of time, I began keeping a Food Diary. At first it was a pain in the butt to carry a little journal around and jot things down every time I ate, but it's a habit that became easier for me to develop over a few days. I actually was taught to do it from my Weight Watchers days several years ago. I believe Weight Watchers is one of the better life-changing programs out there and really helps people to develop some good skills if one adheres to them. Taking inventory of what you eat is all about developing accountability to yourself. Every time you put something in your mouth, it should be written on the page.
Before I started my Food Diary, I would eat and then forget what I ate and eat more later. I didn't realize when I was eating, how much I ate or how often. Again, it's about honesty. With a food diary, you begin to realize how the calories creep up on you. Now in conjunction with the Food Diary, you may want to invest in calorie counter guide. Today, it's much easier with smart phone applications. They have apps that allow you to scan items, or type in the names of foods, even items on the menus at restaurants and it will provide you with the amount of calories being consumed. For me, I was able to blow the dust off of my Weight Watchers booklet that follows the Point System - Based on my weight, I wasn't supposed to consume more than 28 points a day. I discovered that I had been consuming more than double that in a day. The key at first was not to modify my eating habits, but simply record my habits as they were. It was clear to see why the weight wasn't budging. I was eating too much of the wrong foods and eating them too often and late at night as well. It was easier to see the error of my ways with the journal.
I began to limit the number of meals, make better food choices and eat smaller portions. Who wants to record that they are eating a deluxe cheeseburger, fries, milkshake and an apple pie for lunch? Even if it tastes good, it looks wrong on paper for someone who is trying to lead a healthy life style. I'd rather write down that I ate a 1/2 turkey sandwich on whole wheat, spinach salad and unsweetened iced tea. Call it psychology or just plain common sense, but it does work.
Try writing down what you eat each day for a week. I bet your little journal will help you learn a lot about yourself and you'll see some improvements in no time.