I know that many have problems when it comes to doing this. I did, too, at first. While it is very time consuming in the beginning, once you have the foods entered that you eat often, it's much easier from that point on.
I'm sure you've noticed that a lot of what you eat isn't in the Food Database or it's difficult to find the exact food that you ate. In those instances, you should make a new food entry, entering the nutritional values yourself from the label. Personally, I do that for almost all of the food I eat whether I can find it in the Database or not. Doing so makes it easier to add what you have eaten to your Food Diary the next time you eat it. Here's why...
After you create a new food entry in the Database and add it to your Food Diary, a link to it will appear on the right-hand side of your Food Diary page. Whenever you eat that same food again, all you'll have to do is find it in the list, click on it, enter how many servings of it you ate, and add it to your Food Diary for that day.
Another good reason to do this is because some of the food that's been entered into the Database was entered years ago. In many cases, the nutritional values of foods change and, of course, there's always the possibility that someone entered the values incorrectly. Creating your own entry lets you know that it is exactly what YOU ate and that the values are correct.
Keeping track of everything you eat on a daily basis is vital for a couple of reasons. The nutritional values of the foods you eat can add up quickly without you realizing it. And, if you're like me, sometimes you forget that you ate this or that.
Also, being able to look back and see exactly what you've eaten can help you determine possible reasons for a stall in your weight loss. Maybe you went over your allowed carbs or your calories were way above your RDI. Maybe you're not getting enough fat in your diet, your sodium is "off the charts", or you might not be eating enough fiber, which leads to constipation.
So, your Food Diary can help you in many ways. It's an important tool to use that will aid you in your journey of making a lifestyle change.
Here's a tip that might help also: Go to your Food Diary and click on "Edit Preferences" found underneath your nutritional values for the day. Scroll up on the page that it takes you to and delete what is in the box beside "New Email Address", otherwise you'll get a strange error message when you save your changes. Then scroll down to the bottom of the page and put a check mark beside "Calories", "Protein", "Fat", "Sodium", "Fiber" and "Net Carbs", then click "Save". These will now be the nutritional values that show at the top of your Food Diary. This makes it really easy to monitor them.
"This one step - choosing a goal and sticking to it - changes everything." - Scott Reed