Keeping a weight loss journal is one of the age old strategies associated with weight-loss success. Writing down everything that you eat and do is great for keeping track of your weight loss progress in relation to your goals. However, keeping a journal actually provides benefits well beyond the simple tracking of caloric intake. Journaling during your weight loss program has practical and emotional benefits, which is why it is one of the most highly recommended practices for those who are getting started with medical weight loss.
Journaling and Weight Loss Awareness
Journaling is a great way to improve your awareness during your weight loss program. How often have you walked through the kitchen, only to mindlessly munch on whatever snack is out on the counter? How many times have you agreed to have something from a drive-thru, simply because someone else was hungry? We eat for all sorts of reasons—many of which have very little to do with actual hunger.
Making the habit of writing down everything that you eat creates a natural barrier between your desire to munch on things throughout the day and your conscious efforts to lose weight. You may be surprised by how many calories you can cut from your diet by just eliminating your mindless snacking, without even addressing your meal choices.
Journaling and Stress Relief
In addition to helping to increase consciousness surrounding eating patterns, journaling is a great way to alleviate stress and to process your thoughts as you lose weight. Emotional experiences lead many people to make poor food choices, and that includes happy experiences just as it does sad or stressful experiences.
When there is a lot going on in your life, it is easy to overlook eating patterns in favor of focusing on the things that seem to matter more. But journaling can help you put those thoughts in perspective, reminding you that your personal health—and so your diet—are of paramount importance.
Journaling is a great tool to keep at your side during your medical weight loss program, as it can help you become more conscious of your food choices and the stress factors in your life that may be influencing your health. To get started, pick a journaling app that works well with your phone or find a small notebook, and then start writing down what you eat and the thoughts that cross your mind. You may find that journaling at the end of the day actually improves your ability to sleep, giving you more energy to make healthy choices the next day.