Tips for Keeping a Food Journal for Weight Loss
Jun 1, 2018

Tips for Keeping a Food Journal for Weight Loss

If you are doing everything right but the scale is not budging, you might want to consider keeping a food journal. Not only knowing what you are eating but tracking when you are eating and how you feel before and after each meal can really help you change your mental approach to weight loss.

Write as You Go
Don’t wait until the end of the day to write everything down. Writing as you go will help you more accurately portray exactly what you ate and how you felt about it. Doing it bit by bit will help the task seem more manageable and it will help you to create a habit.

Go Digital
Admit it. You are not going anywhere without your phone. There are tons of apps dedicated to helping you track your weight loss progress. These apps function just like a food journal allowing you to document what you ate, when you ate it and how much.

Take a selfie
A recent study from Columbia found that people who are taking pictures of their weight loss progress are more likely to lose weight than those who do not. Try taking a weekly picture as part of your weight loss journal; this will also serve as motivation because you will be able to see the changes in your body.

Be Specific
It is important to avoid using broad terms when writing down what you ate. Just saying you had a sandwich for lunch isn’t specific enough. There is a big difference in eating a turkey sandwich verses a fried chicken sandwich. Focus on the portion size, time of day, environment and how you felt before and after eating. Don’t forget to write down what you drink. Outside of water most beverages have calories which can easily add up.

Get Emotional
Writing down how you are feeling will not only help you understand how what you eat makes you feel, but it will also help you understand how your feelings are driving you to choose what you eat.  If you start noticing a pattern, for example; that you reach for a chocolate bar every time you are stressed maybe the next time you are triggered you will figure out a healthier alternative. Knowing that certain foods make you feel sluggish or upset your stomach will help you eliminate them for your diet.

Try a First Draft for Your Next Day
Once you are fully in the habit of writing down everything you eat consider starting to record your next day. This will help you stick to your meal plan much better and make meal planning easier. It will also prevent you from reaching for something you weren’t planning to eat.

Look at your patterns
Once a week set a time to review your journal.  This will help you notice patterns, emotions and cravings etc.…  Try and find places where you can make improvements and ways to change your habits.