Keeping a weight loss journal can teach you a lot about yourself, such as what you eat, how much you exercise, and why you do certain things.
Journaling your meals can help you avoid unconscious eating. That is, eating that causes you to consume more calories than you intended to consume. In fact, studies show that keeping a weight loss journaling can help you not only lose weight but also keep it off once you’ve lost it! Pay attention to the nutritional breakdown of the foods you’ve eaten each day as you journal your meals, including calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
In addition to tracking your food intake, journaling your moods (such as stress, boredom, or anger) can help you identify problem areas during the day that may serve as triggers for overeating. You can find a solution that does not involve opening the cookie jar or the box of chocolates once you understand the problem.
Triggers are situations, emotions, or foods that cause us to overeat. Triggers differ from person to person. Being alone or bored is a trigger for some people, while stress is a trigger for others. Attending a party or other social event may be a trigger for some people. Whatever your personal triggers are, they can be powerful and get in the way of your successful weight loss. If you’ve tried and failed to lose weight in the past, one of the most likely reasons was that you never learned to identify or control the trigger foods, situations, and feelings that cause unconscious overeating.
Everyone’s triggers are unique. However, there are a few that are common:
- Candy, chocolate, ice cream, potato chips, fries, and other trigger foods are common.
- Anger, stress, loneliness, guilt, anxiety, rejection, boredom, and helplessness are common trigger feelings.
- Watching TV, going to the movies (and eating buttered popcorn! ), talking on the phone, doing homework, sitting at the computer, reading, visiting a relative, being home alone, or having unannounced visitors are all common trigger situations!
Write down everything you eat throughout the day, how you feel when you eat it, and what the circumstances are when you eat it while journaling for weight loss. All of this information will greatly assist you in identifying any triggers that cause you to overeat or consume unhealthy foods that you wish to avoid. The truth is that certain foods, especially when consumed in specific locations or while experiencing specific emotions, have the power to control you. Don’t let them get away with it!
Use journaling weight loss to identify the triggers, resolve not to be controlled by them, and then stop responding to them. If you have a problem with eating popcorn at the movies, for example, you do not have to stop eating popcorn. What you want to do is recognize the link between eating popcorn and going to the movies and plan accordingly. Before going to the movies, decide whether you will eat popcorn or not, opting for a healthier snack before arriving, or whether you will get the smallest size popcorn available, with NO butter!
Last but not least, remember to record your exercise in your weight loss journal. Journaling your physical activity can be extremely beneficial in determining what works, what you enjoy, and what may be preventing you from reaching your goals. Keep track of your schedule, the time you have available to exercise, how you feel before and after you finish, and what motivates you. You’ll undoubtedly learn a lot about your fitness requirements, and if you find yourself in a weight loss plateau, you’ll be able to identify what needs to change to break free.
Your weight loss program is more than just what and how much you eat. It also necessitates a conscious decision to change long-standing habits. Keeping a weight loss journal that tracks your food intake, moods, and exercise activity is an excellent way to determine what is working and what you may need to change to ensure your weight loss success!