Keeping a weight loss journal is essential. As a matter of fact, most weight loss plans or programs recommend that you keep one. It is not only a record of how much weight you lose, it is mainly a record of the steps you take to lose weight including triggers that sabotage your weight loss.
Keeping a weight loss journal should not be a chore. Just a few short notes, when you eat, exercise, feel hungry, feel energized or tired and so on… In the long run such entries will help you track your progress, better understand and manage your eating habits, your emotional state, track your daily activity and it will also help you stay motivated.
Just by going over your entries in your journal you can determine how balanced is your nutrition and this can help you break unhealthy eating patterns.
A weight loss journal will also keep you focused and help you reassess and readjust your goals.
What information should you record in a weight loss journal
- To begin with, write in your current weight and measurements.
- Next write in you goal weight and the date by which you want to achieve your goal. Just make sure that the date by which you want to reach your goal is reasonable. Aim at losing a maximum of 2 pounds per week (you’ll lose more at the beginning but after that a loss of 2 pounds per week is a reasonable expectation).
- Include all your daily activity and exercise. For example, you may think much of them but your daily chores amount to quite a number of expended calories. To learn more about this topic you may want to read this article…
- Write in all the foods and drinks you consume. Be aggressive when it comes to writing this part. Often when we cook we taste our food, sometimes more than less. This adds up to our overall calories consumed. Same moms finish up their kid’s meals… Make sure you include that as well.
- The amount of sleep you get. You may be surprised but a lack of good sleep contributes to weight gain.
- Include your daily emotions. Often our emotions dictate our eating pattern. These entries will let you know if you are an emotional eater and actually they may help you determine what bugs you and why. This is a very helpful entry because when we record our emotions, good or bad, writing it down somehow makes most of us feel better.
- Introduce changes to your weight loss plan. Let’s say that you want to try something different, jot it down and then keep track of it until it becomes a habit. Keeping track of your changes and reinforcing them by writing them down helps you develop new habits. As your new habit is formed introduce a new one.
Weight Loss Journal Types
Keeping a weight loss journal is not a rocket science and it does not have to be complicated. In fact it should be very simple so it does not become a chore.
Here are just a few idea for weight loss journal types. Choose the one best suited for you, particularly choose one that is easily accessible to you be it online or offline.
- A simple notebook
- A diary
- A loose leaf folder
- If you want to have the journal on the computer and be a little fancy you can use Excel spreadsheet
- An online diary (you can find those by simply googling “online diary”)
In summary: A successful and long term weight loss boils down to making small and progressive changes in your daily habits, including the foods you eat and the level of your physical activity.
It is important to plan these changes and keeping track of them. A weight loss journal will help you stay on track.
A journal can be started any time or any day of the year. So if you have decided to lose weight, why don’t you start one today!