Why Keeping a Food Journal Can Help You Lose Weight


Research studies have shown that keeping a food and activity journal helps you lose more weight. This same journal will serve as a great resource tool to keep the weight from coming back. As part of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that actually tracking what you put in your mouth could double the amount of weight you can lose.

A food and activity journal is an excellent way for you to hold yourself accountable for achieving and maintaining your weight management goals. Think of it as a way to be truthful to yourself. In fact, after the extra weight is off, many people still use the journal to keep themselves honest. It’s truly a habit that can reap benefits far into the future.

  • You tend to take things more seriously when you write them down. The process actually becomes real.
  • Actual calories are tracked instead of being guesses
  • You can plan a good exercise strategy and see what works and what doesn’t
  • It helps you to monitor improvements in your shape
  • It provides an eye-opening look at how many calories you are really taking in

Successful weight loss requires commitment to the end goal. Commitment involves persistence and consistency. Your weight loss journey will only be as successful as the effort that you put into it.

In order for your journal to become an indispensable tool in your weight loss arsenal, you need to track everything. Each time you put something in your mouth, write it down. But don’t stop there, break it down:

  • Food type: Record whether it is a protein, carbohydrate or fat.
  • Portion Size: How much did you really eat compared to what the portion size is, per the label.
  • Nutrients: You need to know what’s inside the foods you eat so you can be aware of how your diet affects your weight loss.
  • Time: Recording the time of the meal helps you to gauge not only when you eat, but how much time lapses between meals. This is the key to regulating your metabolism.

Recording the foods you eat, when you eat them and why you eat them not only creates a permanent record of how you are adhering to your program, it also provides you a road map for success when you see those pounds, inches and body fat numbers come down.

In addition, when someone asks you, “What are you doing?” you can refer back to your journal to demonstrate exactly how you “did it.” Hey, there might even be a book deal in there somewhere!

Here’s an idea, why not start a weight loss blog? There are several services you can use and they are all free, such as www.wordpress.com, www.blogger.com and www.livejournal.com.

There are several benefits to tracking your weight loss journey in front of the world.

  • Community Support: Whether you need motivation, advice or just a high-five, your community will be there for you.
  • Accountability: There’s something to be said for having others hold you accountable for your actions. Good or bad, sometimes it’s just what you need to push you in the right direction.
  • Helping Others: Your journey will inspire others to strike out and start their own journey.

So what are you waiting for, start journaling today!

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About Author

Carol Dunlop

Carol is certified through FiTour as a Personal Trainer and through the American Red Cross as a CPR, AED and First Aid Instructor. She has competed and placed in several Fitness America and National Bodybuilding competitions. See my profile page for more information!

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