Keeping a weight loss journal while trying to diet is the single most important strategy that guarantees success. Many people simply can't be bothered to track their food intake. Let's face it. . . it can be labor intensive until you get used to it.
If you've never tracked your food before, there are easy ways to get started. You may want to purchase an attractive journal from your local bookstore or you may just want to use a spiral notebook. There are also websites that offer printable weight loss journal pages for free.
When keeping track of your food intake, make a commitment to write down everything you eat, no matter how insignificant it may seem. If you leave out random bites, you won't have an accurate record to fall back on. Record your daily activity as well. This can be very motivating when you feel strong enough to ramp it up.
It will also help if you make notes about your thoughts and feelings throughout your journey. Sometimes you're able to spot patterns about your eating habits and make quick changes before they sabotage your efforts.
Some people like to carry their weight loss journals with them throughout the day, while others prefer to fill them in at home. Whichever way you choose, be sure to be accurate.
Decide if you're going to plan your daily meals ahead of time or if you're going to just record after the fact. Both ways can work, depending on the individual.
There are many advantages to using a weight loss journal. It gives you the opportunity to look back at your week's progress and determine the strengths and weaknesses of your diet. You can check to determine if you ate all the recommended food groups in the proper portion sizes. You can check to see if you met your exercise goals. When your weight loss falters, you can see where you went wrong. Finally, if you reach a plateau in your diet, you can look back on a particularly good week and reproduce it.
Keeping a weight loss journal practically guarantees that you will be successful in your quest to slim down. Make a commitment to this strategy and see how it works for you. You won't be sorry.
Gail M. Davis offers free printable weight loss journal pages on her website. She is the author of the weight loss advice site Easy Weight Loss Tips to Jump Start Your Diet.