Most of us would love a secret to losing weight even faster. And while there’s no magic for healthy weight loss, a journal is a valuable tool. According to a study from Purdue University, keeping a food diary can double a person’s weight loss results.
Incredible! By writing down your food intake each day and monitoring your eating habits and activity, it’s possible that you could double your weight loss results. Despite the benefits, journaling may seem daunting to some. Writing down your daily food intake is a commitment and you may think you don’t have the time or even know where to start.
Don’t worry! Below are some tips to help keep you committed to your journal and accountable to your Diet Center Program.
Choose Your Method
Not all journaling is created equal. Some people like to map out their meals ahead of time and just cross them off their journal as the week progresses. Others like to write each meal as it is consumed, either before or after they’ve eaten. If you are a fan of apps—keep in mind research has shown time and time again that a paper version with handwriting trumps electronic methods. The reasoning is recall is stronger when writing—meaning if you are confronted with a temptation a second time, it’s hard to write it again. Each of these techniques are effective and will produce the same result of faster weight loss. Use the method that works best for you and make sure to keep your journal with you at all times!
Don’t Give Up
Perhaps you are not losing as quickly as you would like, you are experiencing a plateau or deviated from your food plan. Don’t allow these occurrences to derail you from reaching your health goals. Stick with it! Seek the advice of your Diet Center Counselor and continue to successfully lose weight. Our team of experts will provide the suggestions you need to get back on track, break a plateau or handle a challenging situation.
The more accurate you are, the more you will be able to recognize exactly where you can make adjustments, avoid challenging situations and add variety to your daily food plan. Record portion sizes and meal times. Be sure to include everything you eat, whether it is on plan or not and use your journal as a guide to modify your behaviors, add variety to your food plan and to assist with avoiding stressful situations that may lead to unhealthy food choices.
Set reminders on your phone, on your calendar or in your email to remind you to log each meal. The alerts may seem irritating at first, however, they will eventually get you in the habit of logging every meal. Once you establish the habit, you won’t even need them!
Make journaling fun! If you tried a new recipe, record whether or not you liked it. Take note of how you feel after a healthy meal. If you skipped a meal, record what in your day kept you from eating. Also record how you felt before eating certain foods, so that you can identify triggers and times of the day when you crave certain foods. Make sure to also record activity, water intake and the nutritional supplements you are taking.
Journaling will help you reach your goal faster and stay accountable to your program and health goals. Your journal can be your best friend during weight loss. When you keep track of everything you eat, you will be able to identify your progress and work to eliminate unhealthy behaviors. And, experience twice the weight loss! Journals are most beneficial when you can review them—make sure to have yours available the next time you speak with your Diet Center Counselor. If you bite, write it. Happy Journaling!