Food Journal – The Secret to Weight Loss Success

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!


Natalie Sumaida is pursuing an Advanced Registered Holistic Nutritionist Diploma at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. Her interest in natural nutrition and healing evolved over the years, as as struggled with her own weight, body image issues, and successfully losing over 100lbs. Natalie is passionate and fascinated with the magic and science behind the symbiotic relationship of food, mood, behaviour and vitality and she aspires to heal the world with it.

4 thoughts on “Food Journal – The Secret to Weight Loss Success

  • July 21, 2011 at 8:29 am

    When I first started keeping my food diary I though it was going to be tedious. But after a week or two, when I found how helpful it was during my weight loss phase, I actually enjoyed doing it! I found that it really kept me focused on what I was eating, and more importantly made me ‘aware’ of what foods I was putting in my mouth.

    I did a little experiment with my girlfriend a couple of times where by I asked her at the end of the day exactly what foods she had eaten. Having spent these days with here I was keeping my own mental log. On each occasion that I did these sneaky little experiments she had forgotten something each time, whether it was a piece of toast and butter or some fruit or biscuit, etc.

    So I definitely go with the point you made about writing it down as you go through the day BEFORE putting the food in your mouth!

  • March 4, 2011 at 1:02 am

    I agree! Food journaling is a powerful natural weight loss tool.

  • February 9, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Having a food journal is the most convenient way to record your food intake. The easiest way to lose weight is to do it naturally.Having a weight loss buddy or weight loss watcher will really help you achieve weight loss with fun. My weight loss buddy advised me to take weight loss herbs for losing weight. She introduced to me different herbs that may help me loss weight.

  • February 4, 2011 at 6:49 am

    Thank you for sharing. Journaling is a great tool to increase awarness. When asked, most people will tell you they eat much less than they actually do. Journaling is a great tool to help gain awareness about what you actually eat versus what you think you eat. If more people took this step, a lot more people would eat healthier and make better food choices.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *