If you’re trying to lose weight, tracking weight loss is a must. Starting a weight loss journal is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It’s an eye-opening experience. You’ll become intimately familiar with your eating habits, and you’ll learn exactly how many calories you are consuming each day. Because it makes you to pay attention to what you are eating, you’ll automatically cut back on mindless snacking.
Keeping a weight loss journal is not only for those people who love to scrapbook. You can use different methods to start and keep your own food diary. For those who love to scrapbook, it may be easier because it’s like documenting trips, family events in daily life. Scrapbooking is not just for fun. People do it to keep records of their lives and share a piece of themselves with families, friends, others. Think it like that… Losing weight is a great challenge, and in the end it will be a great success that you would like to share with your family and friends.
You don’t need anything fancy to start a food journal. A simple spiral-bound notebook will do. However, you may find it easier to buy and use a journal designed especially for this purpose. A readymade food or diet journal will have a list of things for you to fill out (what you ate, when, whether you exercised, etc.), so the information is neatly organized for future reference. You’ll also be less likely to forget to write down something important.
Alternatively, you could record these details on the computer using Excel spreadsheets or with dieting software. Some people may tell you that how you do it doesn’t really matter. But I always like the easier and proven way (no need to reinvent the wheel). Of course, what’s important is finding the medium that’s comfortable and works for you. As long as you use it consistently, you’re doing fine. I like readymade weight loss journals (alternatively named as diet and fitness journal, diet and exercise journal, food diary etc.) better than spreadsheets, notebooks, software print-outs. Because they are small enough that I can carry them in my purse, and they have all the details I can’t think of by myself.
So, is there a right method of keeping a weight loss journal? After you eat something, write it down immediately. This is probably the most important thing if you success with your journal. Make note of the portion or serving size so that you can look up the calorie information in a nutrition book.
It’s also a good idea to note the time of day, how you were feeling, what you were doing, and who you were with. Over time you’ll start seeing a pattern: Maybe you eat more when you’re bored or when you hang around certain people! Once you know what your triggers are, you can plan ahead and make better eating choices.
Don’t cheat. Be sure to write down everything you consume, even if it’s just a couple of mints or a handful of raisins. The best way to stay on track and avoid “food amnesia” is to write it down what you ate immediately after the fact, even if it’s just on a napkin. You can always record it in your actual journal later. If you don’t write it down immediately, you’ll almost certainly forget to later, and you won’t get an accurate picture of your diet.
If you start a food diary and stick with it, you’ll be even more focused on your goal of losing weight. You’ll be armed with the knowledge you need to make better eating choices, and you’ll be able to avoid situations that lead to temptation.