10 August, 2013

Using a Journal to Lose Weight

Most people have their own notions of what it means to keep a journal, and sometimes these preconceived notions are enough to prevent someone from giving it a try. Images of the words “KEEP OUT!” scrawled across the top of a marble notebook, or thoughts of a teenagers diary hidden under the bed behind a lock and key are just a few impressions many people hold of journals. But times have changed, and so has the art of journaling.

Keeping a weight loss journal is a proven strategy that can boost your efforts to lose weight. When you keep a journal it becomes easier to maintain a workout schedule and stay accountable for your goals. When you look back through your journal you’ll be able to see habits and trends and the impact your actions have had on your weight loss efforts.

Technology makes it easy to journal with fun resources, like:

Phone apps: You can either download a weight loss inspired app like Lose It, or try out one of the many journaling applications for your smartphone provider. Chances are you always have your phone on you, why not use your phone to stay accountable to your goals.

Blogs: This is a great way to log your thoughts and maintain a sense of external accountability. You don’t need to tell your friends and family about it, either. Consider blogging your weight loss journey to connect with total strangers out there who might benefit from your learning process.

Word documents: You can either keep a file with documents on your computer, or use an online open document, like through Google Docs. This way you can type up anything you might log in your journal without having to pull out pen and paper.

What do I write?

There are absolutely no limits as to what you can journal about, especially when it comes to using a journal to promote your weight loss efforts. Consider logging things like:

  • Exercise habits
  • Food choices
  • Hunger
  • Headaches
  • Stomach aches and other digestive symptoms
  • Water consumption
  • Cravings
  • Temptations
  • Stress factors
  • Weight loss goals

Every day as you update your journal you are free to provide as much detail as you like. This might mean a vague description of what you did the day before, or you may choose to get specific and long details like how many steps you took yesterday, how much you weighed this morning and what your plans are for the next day.

Journaling is a great habit to develop as you try to lose weight, and best of all it is absolutely free. Try starting your own weight loss journal and see how it goes. You might be surprised by how much you like it.