Journaling - A Key to Weight Loss

by : Lynn Smith

A common trap people fall into is eating without being consciously aware of how much food they are eating. Have you ever been preparing dinner and tasted a little of everything you were preparing? Do you help your kids finish their meal so no food goes to waste? Have you ever grabbed a handful of chips or nuts to tide you over to your next meal? These are a few common ways you can add hundreds of extra calories to your day without even realizing you have eaten. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that when people write down what they ate in a journal, they realized they have been underestimating their food consumption by an average of 1,053 calories per day.

If you have gained weight for no apparent reason, you may want to consider keeping a journal to accurately calculate how much food you are consuming. You may be amazed at how many calories you are actually eating. To accurately monitor your food consumption, consider keeping a food journal. This is especially important for people starting a new dietary routine. When keeping a food journal remember to write down everything you drink and eat, including any small bites. You may want to keep your journal with you at all times so you don't forget to record your entire food and beverage intake for the day. If you wait until the evening, you will probably forget some of what you ate or not do it at all. If possible, weigh, count and/or measure your food to accurately record your food intake.

In your journal, it is helpful to record your mood and how you are feeling before and after eating. This will help you realize if there are certain triggers that cause you to overeat or indulge in high fat, high calorie foods. The more aware you are of your food choices and why you make them, the easier it will become to control your food intake and make healthier choices. Journaling will allow you to write down your feelings and release them instead of stuffing your feelings down with food. Over time as you reflect back on your journal you will be able to pick out eating patterns and thought patterns that do not serve you. This will allow you to replace those eating and thought patterns with healthier choices. Through journaling you will gain control over your eating and consciously make healthy choices which will allow your body to release weight.