A food and exercise diary isn't going to help very much if you continue to eat too much and avoid physical activity. You'll only have a record of your failure. The real benefit of keeping a diary is to make your successes and failures visible, not only to yourself, but also to your support community. Remember, MyFitnessPal.com notifies your weight loss buddies of your progress.
Keep in mind that a diet shouldn't be what you eat temporarily until you achieve a goal. Everybody is on a diet. Some are good and some are bad. Temporary diets fail because they're based on denial, and a body can't usually keep that up for more than a few days or weeks.
I haven't denied myself anything during the past 90 days that I've been losing weight. Honestly. I've continued to eat my favorite foods, every one of them, including peanut butter. The difference is portion control. Thanks to the fact that MyFitnessPal.com has a very complete data base of most popular foods, I can see at a glance what portion of any food I want that I can have without exceeding my caloric intake goals. The trick is to complete the diary entry for a meal before you eat it, and then eat only what you've recorded in the diary.
Pre-planning a meal is especially important when you're eating out. Fortunately, MyFitnessPal.com includes nutritional information (calories, carbs, fat, and protein) for the meals you eat at popular restaurants and fast food outlets, from a slice of pizza at Costco to a full meal at Lucille's. If your favorite restaurant isn't listed, check its website. Many now have nutritional information so that you can better plan your menu choices when you're there.
Be honest. There's no cheating in dieting. Your diet is whatever you eat. Go ahead and record it, everything you put into your mouth and swallow. If you lose weight, you'll know what works. If you don't, then you'll know what doesn't and you can do better the next time. It's that simple.
Come on and join me in the battle of the bulge. Don't worry. I won't abandon you anytime soon. I still have at least eighty more pounds to lose. That should keep me on the plan for at least another year.