The Benefits of Keeping a Weight Loss Journal
Losing weight can seem overwhelming, but it really just requires consistency. No matter where you are on your weight loss journey, you simply have to build healthy habits. One tool that has proven benefits in improving consistency is a weight loss journal.
There are numerous weight loss journal benefits and research has shown that tracking your progress in a journal can help you double your weight loss. It comes down to awareness. You can’t change what you’re not aware of. Once you know which foods assist in your weight loss, you can create a strategic meal plan.
As you begin a program to reach your ideal weight, starting your journey by creating a weight loss journal is a great first step. Keep reading to learn how to make a weight loss journal and how to track your weight loss consistently.
Weight Loss Journal Benefits
Do you remember what you had for dinner three weeks ago and how that dinner made you feel? Chances are, you probably don’t, which is why keeping a weight loss journal can be so helpful on your weight loss journey.
Weight loss journal benefits include offering visibility into our eating habits and patterns, uncovering our weight loss goals, and more:
- Increase visibility into what foods we eat, when we eat them, portion sizes, and macros
- Identify eating habits and patterns
- Increased focus on our weight loss goals
- More easily track weight loss goals
- Improve nutrition
- Decrease unconscious eating
- Better understand the relationship between eating patterns and habits and weight loss and gain
How to Make a Weight Loss Journal
There is no right or wrong way to make a weight loss journal and there are many format options out there. Some people keep a Bullet weight loss journal, while some people prefer to use apps. Any journal you are able to stick with will do.
Weight Loss Journal Formats
Weight loss journals don’t need to be complicated. Choose whatever format will help you be consistent:
- A simple journal
- A long-form diary
- An Excel spreadsheet
- An online blog
- An app
- A daily food log
What to Record in a Weight Loss Journal
Again, weight loss journals don’t need to be complicated. Here are a few things you can record as you’re getting started:
- Your weight loss goals
- Your daily food and drink intake
- Your current weight
- Your current body measurements
As you become more comfortable using a weight loss journal, you can begin recording:
- Exercise and physical activity
- Your emotions/mood
Weight Loss Journal Example
Recording the food you eat, time of consumption, calories, and your mood can be a great way to monitor your diet. Use this example as a guide for your own weight loss journal to create something that works for you.
How To Keep an Effective Weight Loss Journal
Now that you know how to make a weight loss journal, it’s important to know how to use it consistently.
Every day, jot down what you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat. If you are snacking or overindulging, take note of any trigger factors that may have prompted you to turn to food.
Reflect and report on how these food choices made you feel a few hours later, both energetically and emotionally.
For example, you may have had an argument with a family member or a bad day at work, which prompted you to eat something indulgent. Your eating habits often have emotional triggers.
Make sure to note how you felt about that choice afterward. Did it make you feel guilty? Did you end up feeling sluggish and tired? As you study your notes, you will begin to reap the benefits of a weight loss journal.
1. Use Your Weight Loss Journal Consistently
To truly tap into the benefits of a weight loss journal, you must remain diligent. Keep thorough notes once you’ve begun your weight loss program and don’t fall off the wagon.
Note what you have been eating, any substitutes that you’ve tried, and how you are handling temptation. Your journal can include more than what you eat.
To make it even more useful to you, start keeping track of how much you sleep, how active you are, and what the numbers are on the scale. You’ll have valuable information that will give you the entire picture, helping you to understand what is successful and what isn’t.
2. Reflect Upon Your Weight Loss Journal Entries
As you continue in your efforts to lose weight, you will experience more weight loss journal benefits. When you see the pounds melting away, you can pinpoint the source of your success.
If you hit a stumbling block, you can look through your journal to see if there have been any changes in your life. Review your notes, reflect on the positives, and don’t focus on the negative.
Your weight loss journal is your personal story. You’re not reading about someone else or trying to live up to the standards of a celebrity in a magazine. If you aren’t proud of every past entry, that’s okay. It’s for your eyes only!
3. Focus on How Far You Have Come
Your weight loss journal will offer you the most benefits when you use it as a resource to highlight the progress that you have made.
Even if you do not see the amount of weight loss that you would prefer, you will still have a record that proves you are making better choices as you head toward a healthier lifestyle that you can maintain in the future.
When you acknowledge your successes, you are much more inclined to keep the positive momentum going. You deserve to celebrate your hard work!
4. Use Your Weight Loss Journal to Embrace Wellness
When you begin keeping a weight loss journal, it’s not just about the weight. It’s about making choices that will have a positive impact on your overall well-being. Thus, include other positive self-care habits you’re developing, like drinking plenty of water, meditating, or having an evening yoga session.
When you make wise decisions about your eating and become physically active, you are making a commitment to give yourself the best quality of life possible!
5. Stave Off Frustration with Your Weight Loss Journal
There are going to be times when you feel frustrated or overwhelmed. You may hit a plateau or even find yourself sliding backward.
Your weight loss journal is like a friend with a listening ear, someone who will keep all of your notes in confidence. You can vent, take a deep breath, and focus on a new day.
If yesterday’s entry showed that you made some bad choices, reap the benefits of your weight loss journal by staying the course the next day.
6. Use Your Weight Loss Journal as Documentation for Your Physician
As you find yourself in the midst of a weight loss journey, your physician should be a part of a team effort. When you go for your regular checkup, your doctor will want to know exactly what you have been doing to achieve your goal.
Explore the benefits of your weight loss journal together as you look back to the beginning and focus on the entries dating up to your doctor’s visit. Your physician will discover a helpful tool in understanding you as a patient.
A weight loss journal will also be a helpful tool if you choose to explore alternatives to weight loss. Your medical team will appreciate the record of your dedication and your efforts. A weight loss journal is your source of documentation.
Tracking your measurements in a journal or calendar can also help you recognize the progress you’ve made, and spot any issues or negative patterns that might be impacting your success. Overall, there are a plethora of benefits of keeping a weight loss journal.
More Ways To Stay Consistent With Weight Loss
Are you wondering how else can you improve your weight loss journey? Here are some ways to switch up your routine.
Take Your Journaling Online with Social Media
Thanks to the Internet, anyone can start a blog. If you are comfortable sharing your personal journey, you might want to start your own weight loss blog or weight loss-focused social media profile. Not only will you inspire others, you will feel more accountable to stick with your goals.
Enjoy the Support and Camaraderie of an Online Community
An alternative to creating a public blog is finding a community within a weight loss forum. These online communities tend to be safe places for people who want to share similar experiences, and you might even find yourself connecting with others who are having the same thoughts, feelings, and challenges as you are.
Confide In A Personal Diary
If you’d prefer to keep your weight loss journal private, an old-fashioned diary can be a great way to reflect on your goals, challenges, and future plans.
Treat yourself to a nice, hard-cover diary book – you can find these in most bookstores, office supply shops, and online. Schedule time each day to write in your diary, and be sure to look back over your entries every once in a while.
Seek Out Additional Weight Loss Options
If you are not satisfied with your efforts, even when you have tried a weight loss journal, exercise regimes, and diet plans, you can take your weight loss journey to the next step. Turn to the team at Olde Del Mar Surgical to learn about bariatric surgery.
If you are unable to lose weight or have health complications due to your weight, weight loss surgery may be a good alternative for you.
When you come in for your consultation, bring your weight loss journal with you. Share your victories and continue to reap the rewards as you consider bariatric surgery to achieve your goals.