Writing It Down

If you want to know why your diet isn't working, trainer Jim Karas says, keep a diary of every single random snack, licked spoon, broken cookie, and (oops!) 1,000-calorie meal.

You see the data. So many people over the years have said to me, "I really don't eat that much; I don't know why I've gained so much weight." But when they start keeping a food diary, the reality of what they're putting in their mouths—the sheer volume of what was previously inhaled unconsciously—is right there in black-and-white. It's astonishing, it's enlightening, and it's indisputable.