Sometimes the simplest things can have the biggest effect on your weight-loss. I’m not talking about surgery because that’s not simple, but those smaller, doable things that can have a greater impact than you would imagine. Things like measuring portions; introducing some activity and eating mindfully for example. Some are surprisingly very simple and don’t need much more
than a piece of paper and a pen – like keeping a diary or journal.
Wondering how they can help with losing and keeping off those pounds? Me too, but this guest feature below gives the stats and the low-down (based on research) which makes a pretty convincing case to me. Check it out and give it a whirl …
By Madeline Vann, MPH
Find out how keeping a journal can keep off those pounds…
Writing down what you eat can double your weight-loss success and help you keep those pounds off permanently. After all, maintaining your weight can be harder than losing it, so you need all the helpful tools you can get.
A study of 1,700 overweight men and women showed that those who kept a regular food and exercise journal, along with eating a low-fat diet and exercising 30 minutes per day, lost 18 pounds in 20 weeks, compared to a nine-pound loss among those who did no journaling.
Researchers believe food journals work because:
•They make you accountable.
•They help you identify where extra calories are sneaking back into your diet.
•They can act as a deterrent — if you know you have to write down that you ate a second generous wedge of double fudge chocolate chip brownie pie, you might not eat it!
•They provide a concrete record of your success.
One of the lessons many people take from their experience of food journaling is the difference between a serving size as printed on a nutrition label and the amount of a food that they consider to be a helping. For example, a serving of pasta is about a half a cup, so you may be surprised when you start keeping your food journal that your usual helping of spaghetti could be as many as four servings.
Keep Your New Weight: Find Your Best Journal Format
Be creative with your weight journal format if that also helps keep you on track. The word journal may conjure up the image of a leather-bound diary tucked under your pillow, but 21st century dieters can get the same benefit with a high-tech twist — texting.
An eight-week study of 31 families showed that tech-savvy teens were nearly twice as likely to stick to a diet plan if they could text-message about their diet and exercise choices. The study’s authors concluded that an immediate response from a nutritionist helped keep them motivated. You could achieve the same results by texting a diet buddy.
Another option is keeping a log of your dietary choices online, which may also give you access to interactive tools such as calorie counters and weight trackers as well as personalized meal and exercise plans.
Keep Your New Weight: What to Journal
Whether you’re a next-generation smart phone texter or a spiral notebook traditionalist, you need to keep track of specific details for the best results. Here is a general guide for what information to track in your log:
•Your weight at the start of weight-loss or maintenance and at your regular weigh-ins.
•Your goals and any specific guidelines for your meal plan.
•Specific measurements you are tracking, such as your waistline.
•Portion sizes of foods — remember to make it servings, not helpings — and food groups.
•Nutritional information associated with the servings you are eating, such as calories, salt content, fat content, fiber, and carbohydrates.
•Minutes of exercise expended, plus any other exercise data you record, such as heart rate.
•Any other habits that you believe are relevant to your weight, such as the time you spend watching TV or playing video games.
•Any other details about your eating experience, such as where you ate, who you were with, and how you were feeling emotionally at that time.
Write down everything that you eat or drink, including snacks and water. And another success tip: For greater accuracy jot down what you ate right after you eat it.
By keeping a food diary, you’ll be able to see if you’re about to go over your allotted calories for your current weight on any given day, as well as if you’re eating too many or too few calories over the course of a week.
Since it’s important to shake up your exercise routine periodically to keep your body challenged, your journal will also allow you to review past workouts and alert you when you’re due for a change.
Journaling is a great motivator, keeping you on the straight and narrow and preventing you from slipping back into old patterns that caused your weight gain.
Bariatric Food Journal as part of the Bariatric Gift Packages (see here)
Since writing this post we have been contacted several times by visitors to the website asking if they can purchase the Journal separately from the Gift Package. YES THEY CAN! The cost per journal is £7.50 with the following post and packing/shipping costs) UK= £2.95 EUROPE=£4.95 REST OF WORLD=£5.95 To order email firstname.lastname@example.org
Feature Courtesy of Everyday Health