If you have decided to move toward an optimum weight range for your height, gender, and bone structure, keeping a food journal for 3-7 days has been found to be a bona fide strategy for getting a handle on what you are actually eating. If you’re a ‘grazer,’ or if you have learned to wolf down food in a distracted manner, you can ingest hundreds of unnecessary calories in a matter of minutes. It’s worth the time and effort for write down everything you put into your mouth and swallow—and then analyze the pattern. One man realized that he was guzzling beer while watching sports on TV in the evening—and that alcohol contributes 7 calories per gram (while protein and carbs contribute only 4 calories per gram). Along with that, he was popping high-fat mini-quiches (and fat contributes 9 calories per gram). An apple, air-popped popcorn, and lemon water or herb tea would provide a tenth of the calories. Your taste buds replace themselves every few days so you can train them to enjoy something else quite quickly—if you want to.