A study published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that people who kept food diaries six days a week lost twice as much weight than those who kept food diaries for a day a week or none at all. The study proved that a food journal can be an important tool for a weight loss program.
How food journaling can help with weight loss
A food journal acts as an accountability partner that helps you:
- Keep track of what, how much, and why you’re eating
- Identify what may be keeping you from achieving your weight loss goals
Most people don’t realize how much or little they’re actually eating. A food journal will help you become aware of bad eating habits so that you can change them. Once you come up with strategies to overcome bad habits, it will be easier to stay on a healthy eating pattern.
How to start a food journal
Starting a food journal is not hard but it does require commitment. Some tips to help you get started are:
- Know what your goals are. Write down specifically how much weight you want to lose. When you have a written specific goal it’s easier to move forward.
- Choose a format that will work for you. It can be electronically or pen and paper. Whichever you choose, make sure that it includes time, food, portion size and your degree of hunger. But don’t follow a format that you think is tedious because you may not stick to it.
- Write as you go. Don’t wait until the end of the day or the week to write down what you’ve eaten. You’re not going to remember.
- Cook at home the first few weeks. This will allow you to measure everything so that when you go out to eat, you’ll know what portions should look like.
If you want weight loss success, include writing in a food journal to your weight loss program so that you reach your weight loss goals quicker.
- Kaiser Permanente. “Keeping A Food Diary Doubles Diet Weight Loss, Study Suggests.” ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080708080738.htm (accessed July 7, 2015).
- WebMd (http://www.webmd.com/diet/20080708/keeping-food-diary-helps-lose-weight)