There is evidence to support the effectiveness of food journals. Keeping food diaries and losing weight have been found to have a significant relationship by researchers.
Medically reviewed by Dr K on 24th May 2022.
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The Benefits of Tracking Your Food Intake To Lose Weight
Is it true that keeping a food journal can help you lose weight? Yes, the answer is YES! One of the most effective ways to lose weight is to keep a food diary.
Source - ACTIVE
The Advantages of Food Journals
There is evidence to support the effectiveness of food journals. Keeping food diaries and losing weight have been found to have a significant relationship by researchers. In a 2008 study of approximately 1,700 overweight people, those who kept food records lost twice as much weight as those who did not.
How Do Food Journals Help With Weight Loss?
Keeping track of every bite tends to hold you accountable to yourself. If you know you’ll have to write it down, you’ll probably suppress the desire to reach for a handful of cookies. Furthermore, if you don’t keep a food diary, it’s all too easy to overlook those sneaky extra calories that appear throughout the day. Keeping a journal will help you keep track of everything — the milk in your coffee, the handful of trail mix you had at 11 a.m., the two spoonfuls of ice cream you had after dinner, and so on. It will also help to determine which foods are adding an unexpected number of calories to your diet.
After a while, you’ll be able to see where all of your calories are coming from and decide what’s worth it. You will also be able to recognise how you feel after eating certain foods and what triggers promote your eating habits. It’s a good idea to keep a food log that includes not only the time but also how you felt after eating. You will be able to enjoy eating more and eliminate feelings of guilt, extreme fullness, or discomfort by identifying your food feelings.
Keeping a written record of your food choices will help you to identify eating patterns that might be sabotaging your weight loss. At the end of each week, go over your food diary in a breeze. This will help you identify “trigger" foods — foods that set you off on an eating binge — as well as any other unhelpful eating habits. For example, maybe you consume more calories after consuming a cocktail, or perhaps you tend to eat dessert when you go out to dinner. You’ll be able to break bad habits once you can see them clearly.
Food journals are superb for goal setting. Setting a few mini-goals along the way can help you lose a lot of weight if you’re trying to lose a lot of weight. Your objectives should be time-bound, attainable, and measurable. A written record allows you to see how far you’ve come. Let’s say you want to eliminate soda from your diet. Looking back at your food journal will tell you that you were successful! It’s reassuring to have a written record of your achievements.
How to Keep a Food Journal
You can’t keep a food journal unless you have a journal. To begin, decide whether you want to record your food intake with a smartphone app or with paper and pen. I suggest a food-tracking app with built-in calorie counts, such as Lose It! or MyFitnessPal. If you choose paper and pen, look for something small and portable — it must accompany you everywhere! There are also fantastic ready-made physical food diaries available, such as the DietMinder Personal Food & Fitness Journal and Fitbook. However, a normal notebook will suffice.
Whatever way you use, keep a note of everything you consume. Remember your ABCs – All Bites Count! Writing down specific portion amounts and food categories can help you in achieving the most accurate results. Instead of documenting blueberries with yoghurt, you can note “6 oz plain Greek yoghurt with 3/4 cup blueberries." And, once you’ve journaled your way to weight loss, make sure you take the necessary steps to keep your new weight!