When you're trying to lose weight, consistency is extremely important. In fact, you must create an actual habit to change the way you eat, and habits are both hard to create as well as hard to break. Weight loss journals help you keep track of what you eat, when you eat it, and how your body responded to the foods you ate too.
Weight loss journals are also an excellent way to keep track of what triggers various food cravings. Sometimes certain foods are just a habit to eat - like chocolate ice cream before going to bed - but sometimes those foods are comfort items we crave when something is wrong. Maybe there's a bit of extra stress in your life, or you get worried about the cost of gas - whatever. But these worries and stresses will often trigger a food craving that isn't good for you.
Keeping a weight loss journal will let you track when certain food cravings are triggered and why, and by tracking those you'll be able to start developing more healthy responses for the next time those triggers arise.
So what should you do with your weight loss journal? Two primary things...
1. Track the foods you eat. When you're trying to lose weight, the most important step is to change how you eat. And it's difficult to change something when you're not fully aware of everything involved. As part of tracking your eating habits, you'll also start changing your eating habits. And this is sometimes very difficult to do. By keeping detailed records of what food you ate, when, and how much, you'll soon have an excellent picture of how well or how poorly you're doing with your weight loss efforts because it's all right there in black and white. You might be able to forget you ate that cookie yesterday, but your journal won't!
2. Track how the foods you eat make you feel. Sometimes specific foods are problematic for some people, because they're sensitive or mildly allergic to something and they're not aware of it. Some people will get very sleepy or bloated when they eat or drink milk products for example, and others retain extra water weight and feel sluggish if they eat certain types of carbohydrates.
3. Track your physical activity. Changing how you eat is usually only part of the weight loss equation. By keeping details of your physical activity in your weight loss journal, you'll help yourself with this second part of the weight loss process too. Even if you don't do formal exercise routines and workouts, you should keep track of any extra physical activity. Maybe you walked around the mall, or pulled weeds in the garden - these count as extra physical activity. And by tracking these in your weight loss journal, you'll be able to see your progress with the weight loss, but also with your energy and mood levels too.
So start your own weight loss journal today, keep it with you at all times, and update it faithfully as you go about your regular activities.