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Journaling to a Thinner You!

Journal
Photo by tsuacctnt via Flickr

Having a hard time losing weight?  Feel like no matter what you do the pounds never come off?  If the answer is yes, then maybe it’s time to start a food journal.

People have the best intentions. They work hard to reduce their calories and improve the quality of the food they eat, but sometimes they just can’t seem to lose the weight they need to be healthier. Many times that is due to the fact that they are not truly aware of how many calories they consume in a day or how  poorly they may be eating.

Become aware of what you’re really eating

So, how can you combat this problem? Research has shown that the act of writing everything down in a journal makes us less likely to overeat.  What do I mean when I say “everything?”  I mean everything no matter how big or small. If you are having coffee, write down the amount of cream and sugar that you put in.  If you ate two small pieces of candy you took off Sally’s desk at work, write that down also. The more rigorous you are in writing everything you eat in the journal, the more successful you will be with your weight loss.

Getting started with journaling:

  1. Get a pocket-sized, spiral-bound notebook. Your journal should be small enough to be easy to carry wherever you go. Otherwise, you won’t bring it.
  2. Each page represents one day, so put the date at the top of the page.
  3. Divide the page into two columns, one for food and the other for calories.
  4. At the beginning of the day, write your goal at the bottom of the page.
  5. Write down everything you eat all day long in the left -hand column and the calories in the right hand column. If you don’t know how many calories something is, you can check nutritiondata.com. They have a very extensive nutritional data database and probably have what you’re looking for.
  6. At the end of every day, total up your calories and put it at the bottom of the page next to your goal.
  7. If you didn’t meet your daily goal, assess where you went wrong and plan ways to meet it the following day.

Over time, you’ll be surprised how much healthier you’ll eat when you know you have to write each item down and track the calories for it.  Some things that you once ate without thinking will become more trouble than they’re worth and you’ll stop eating them. Others, will have more calories than you thought and you’ll find yourself dropping them for healthier items that you like just as much.  Journals are a great tool to help you build a habit of thinking about what you eat before you eat. So, get writing and get healthier!

Comments (7)

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  1. Every time I have successfully lost weight it’s been because I’ve journaled. Something about knowing that you’re going to have to write it down makes you think twice about that nibble or taste you’re about to steal from your kids or friends!
    Great post!

  2. Blake says:

    Yup. Food journaling is the way to go!

  3. Nicole Gustas says:

    There’s a couple of great websites you can use for this. http://www.fitday.com and http://www.sparkpeople.com are both extremely useful! I find Sparkpeople’s calorie counts to be a bit more in line with reality. Both allow you to journal your food intake and your fitness regimen, and they will automatically give you the calories you’ve consumed.

  4. Talli van Sunder says:

    @Nicole Gustas Thank you for sharing those websites! Good resources for people to check out.

  5. James H says:

    You’ve always got great things to blog about (and tweet). I’m glad I follow you!

    Journaling can help in so many areas of life – but for staying healthy, you’ve really nailed it.

    James H.
    http://serviceafol.blogspot.com/

  6. M says:

    I agree completely! understand the details, amounts etc. of what we are putting into our bodies paints a more clear picture.

  7. Rosy says:

    Sorry I’m late! Excellent post, because I TOTALLY believe in journaling. Not only to I keep a record of what I eat, I, also, write down how I’m feel both physically and mentally.

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