When you’re looking to lose weight, studies have shown that recording what you eat can help you stay on track. When you keep a diet journal, you are more likely to meet your goals than when you don’t.
In a six month study, over 1,000 people were encouraged to eat a healthy diet. One group kept a journal and met in groups to share their experience and the other did not. The journal group lost an average of 13 pounds. The other group varied, but most did not meet their goals.
This important way to use this tool effectively is to know how to journal food. First, it’s important to write as you go and not to wait until the end of the day. Right after a meal is the best time. Make sure you focus on portion size. Make sure you measure or weigh portions. Cooking at home makes this easier. And don’t cheat! If you have an indulgent day or a night out, make sure you record everything. Sodium levels in particular can effect your health more than you think, so make sure to keep an eye on those.
It doesn’t matter whether you make use of a smartphone application or simply a pen and paper, anything works, as long as you journal consistently. If you’ve been trying to lose weight, try adding this to your plan. You can also record exercise and physical activity to get a good look at everything you’re doing to stay healthy.