A Journal Will Put You on the Right Path
Did you think your days of keeping a diary were over? The key to successful weight control is accurate math. The mind tends to play tricks on you when it comes to food portioning. A journal is how you keep that optical illusion from interfering with your weight loss goals.
What Goes Into a Journal?
Simply put, everything you eat or drink gets written down. That is how you spot all those hidden calories that your mind swears do not exist. The tablespoon of fat-laden dressing you put on your healthy salad or the nuts you sneak in the afternoon work to sabotage a well-thought-out plan to lose weight.
You can use the diary to document your water intake and exercise, too. A journal eliminates the guesswork, so you know exactly how much time you have spent at the gym.
How Well Does Keeping a Journal Work?
A 2008 study shows journaling can be the difference between diet success and failure. Researchers studied the habits of 1,685 obese people. For six months, the participants kept track of their food intake. With the help of a journal, most participants were able to lose weight even without a structured program. The journal just made them aware of how much they were eating.
What Is the Best Way to Keep a Journal?
If you are old-school, there is nothing wrong with buying a pocket-sized notebook and writing everything down. Make sure to read the labels on the food you eat to get an accurate calorie count and watch the serving sizes. A bag of chips that says it has 150 calories per serving may hold three servings. If you eat the whole bag, you must write down 450 calories in your journal.
A better approach is to use a mobile app to keep track; most are free to download. An app will do all the calculations for you. If you enter one cup of pasta, it automatically fills in the calorie count. Some apps also provide summaries of the macronutrients consumed, such as carbohydrates and protein. This allows you to focus on eating healthily while you count the calories.
A journal is a powerful resource that can lead to success when you are trying to lose weight. Why wouldn’t you keep one?