When to Start a Diet
Many people start a new year diet right after the Christmas holidays. But whether you start at New Year or some other time, journaling for weight loss has a proven track record of helping people on their weight loss journey.
‘Research shows that for people interested in losing weight, keeping a journal can be a very effective tool to help change behaviour. In one weight loss study of nearly 1,700 participants, those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records. ‘*
Now that you have downloaded your free printable weight loss journal you will want to know what to record in it.
Start Your Weight Loss Journal a Week Before Staring Your Diet
Ideally you should record your food and exercise for a week before starting your diet.
(You can see more about why this is a good idea HERE.)
When you have recorded a week of normal eating you will be able to analyse:
How healthy is my diet – am I eating a mixed diet comprising all the main food groups including fruits and vegetables, carbs, fats, and proteins.
How many calories am I consuming?
How can I plan better meals?
Do I drink enough water?
Am I eating for emotional reasons?
Do I eat on the run?
What are my body measurements?
Am I getting enough exercise and general movement?
What have I learned about my exercise habits?
How can I add more movement into my week?
Where can I make changes?
How can I set realistic weight loss goals?
Weight Loss Journal Ideas
What to record:
Record what you eat – keep a record of the brand and portion size (usually by weight) and drinks.
When you are eating (why are you eating – are you hungry?) – Is this a main meal or a snack? How can you avoid those ‘naughty’ moments?
Are you doing something else at the same time – TV/Mobile/Reading/Work/Travelling? How does this affect what you eat and how much you eat?
Who are you with – Family/Friends/Colleagues/Children?
How do you feel – Happy/Sad/Bored/Stressed/Lonely/Tired.
Record why you are dieting and your goals to remind yourself and keep motivated. E.g., What will I look like when I lose weight?
What worked this week and where can you improve?
How much exercise or movement you have done – especially anything extra to normal.
* https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/why-keep-a-food-diary-2019013115855 accessed 05/December 2022