Have you ever worked your hardest to ‘stick to budget,’ but at the end of the week, you’re missing several hundred dollars and left wondering where that money went? Chances are, you didn’t keep track of your expenses. Luckily, when it comes to weight loss, the greatest tool you have at your disposal is a food journal. Here’s why you need one, and just how to make it work for you.
The Big Payoff of Journaling Each and Every Bite
If your bank account is looking bleak these days, it could be because you’re spending without being conscious of what you’re spending your money on. Think of a food journal like a bank account. Each time you write down what you eat (including quantity and time of the day in which you ate it) you’re adding to your bank account. Every time you don’t, you’re subtracting from it.
Here’s why a food journal counts for so much: it forces you to hold yourself accountable, allows you to become aware of where all those extra calories have come from (mindless snacking in front of the TV, for example) and gives you the tool to change eating/nutritional behaviors and habits that have prevented you from achieving the body you want.
Write Out Your Daily and Weekly Goals
Any personal trainer, dietarian or nutritionist will tell you that becoming aware of what you eat, is the first step towards achieving your weight loss and/or fitness goals. Here’s how to jump on the weight loss bandwagon: buy a notebook or journal (whatever you like best) that you can carry with you throughout your day. Size does matter in this case, because if you can’t fit it into your briefcase or purse, it won’t do you any good.
Give each day of the week its own page, and start each week by listing out short term and long term goals. For example, your long term goal could be to lose three pounds, while your short term goals could be eating food that is without chemicals, pesticides or processed in a lab (which will reduce your appetite, since you’ll be eating real food with plenty of protein and nutrients!) Then, before you eat anything, write it down. Write down how much you’re eating, what you’re eating and when you’re eating it.
The goal to a ‘fit as a fiddle’ type of body isn’t just about the food, but what you eat that makes up about 70 percent of your progress, while exercise makes up for the remaining 30 percent. Food affects your mood, while directly affects how good you feel in the skin you’re in. Write it down, and serve it up! Then, make adjustments (mindless snacking, stressors that trigger your appetite for sugary foods, etc) as necessary.