Many studies show that journaling can help you lose weight. From writing down what you eat to expressing your feelings, keeping a food journal can help dieters double the number of pounds they lose. In fact, research published in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that those who wrote down their meals six times per week lost twice as much weight as those who didn't.
According to Anne M. Fletcher, author the Thin for Life series, 3 out of 4 adults that kept track of what they ate, at least some of the time, lost an average of 64 pounds over the course of 11 years. "Quite a few mentioned that keeping a food diary is the most important thing they do to keep their weight off," she says.
Why Journaling Works
Experts believe that journaling works for several reasons. Linadria Porter, author of Change Your Habits, Change Your Life, says that journaling helps dieters become fully aware of the amount of food that they are actually consuming in a given day, hour or week. “So often eating is unconscious and so keeping a log supports the users as a factual document of how much they are eating, says Porter. “ It is a valuable tool especially for the emotional eater.”
“It's an accountability thing,” agrees Fletcher, “it makes you stop and think about what you're putting in your mouth. We also know that people tend to underestimate how much they eat, so this helps you keep a record of the amount of food that you're actually consuming.”
Read on for vital tips on journaling for weight loss.
How to Start Journaling for Weight Loss
There are many different types of ways to start a food journal, from writing in a simple spiral-bound notebook to joining an online journaling program such as HabitChanger.com.
Master trainer Shaun Zetlin offers these tips for starting a food journal:
* A composition book is an easily accessible way to keep track of daily meals. Also, there are some great new technology practices to help with your journal. One website that has worked for my clients is Weight-loss.fitness.com .
* Make sure to be honest with yourself even if that means writing down an unhealthy food or meal. Write down everything!
* Visit forums that offer support and advice from others who are also trying to lose weight.
Journaling only works if it is consistently used, though. Experts, such as Porter, stress that dieters should find a journaling system they like and stick to it to get results.
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