Is the answer to your weight loss problems as simple as writing in a journal everyday?
According to the National Weight Control Registry, out of 3000 dieters whom successfully lost 30lbs or more of weight and kept it off for longer than a year, food journalling was the number one behavior they had in common.
It sounds like a tedious task, and almost everyone groans at the thought of it but if correctly adopted the food journaling habit will undoubtedly bridge the gap between who you are now and who you wish to be.
It is a positive behavior that replaces a negative one (mindless munching) and not only is it good for weight loss management, but a food journal can help to identify allergies or digestive issues you may have that you were not aware of.
My tips for keeping a successful journal are:
- Be sure to use a notebook that can easily fit in your purse or jacket pocket so that you have it with you every where you go, or store the information on your mobile device or blog.
- Ensure that you log all food that goes into your mouth before you eat it. Don’t wait till the end of the day. This is a very important technique which develops the habit of becoming mindful about food. When we are mindful, the temptation to binge or indulge in foods is greatly reduced.
- Record the food you eat, but also record the feelings when you ate it, the people you were with, the place you were and how you felt afterwards.
- Don’t get hung up on the calories! If you have to research every single calorie count of the food you are eating daily chances are you’ll give up! Instead of calories, make a note of the portion sizes and the macronutrients.
- Review your journal weekly, make notes of what you did well and where you could do better.
- Begin each week with a goal you would like to achieve daily for that week. For instance, No Soda, or No Sugar and mark your progress daily, at the end of the week reward yourself with something special (non-food related)!
- Put random positive affirmations and quotes throughout your journal on the first day you get it, so that along your journey you will come across messages to keep you motivated.
Keep them, it will be nice to look back on in the years to come.
Almost everyone in their adult life has struggled at one time or another to shed pounds and keep those pounds off. Fad diets, pills and surgeries don’t get to the root of the problem that caused the weight gain in the first place.
Start a food journal today and begin to understand your relationship to food, become accountable to your eating, and successful weight loss will soon follow!