Write your way to weight loss: Try keeping a journal

Food journals can help you achieve your weight-loss goals

You are making healthier food choices and leading a more active life, but you are still not losing weight. Instead of giving up on your goals, try food journaling.

You have probably heard this advice before, but it really does work.

Even a local group recently found this to be true – during a 12-week weight-loss programme, those that kept journals lost approximately 9 per cent of their body weight, while those who did not lost approximately 4 per cent.

Participants noted that the journals helped to keep them accountable.

For many, the idea of a food journal can seem daunting – however, it is a task that can be completed in 10 minutes a day.

These journals can be as basic or as complicated as you want.

Some find that small note pads work for them, while others prefer the sophistication and detail that online programmes offer.

Some tips for getting started:

Write down everything – all drinks, snacks, even little bites of food. You may be surprised at how many calories come from these items.

List the portion sizes of the foods you eat – use measuring spoons and cups to ensure accuracy.

Journal as soon as you eat – it is much harder to remember everything at the end of the day.

Include the time – do you find you overindulge later in the day when you do not have a morning meal?

Note your emotions and feelings – were you actually hungry when you had that snack, or just bored?

Track your physical activity – do you find you eat more dessert after you go to the gym as a reward?

And one of the most important – be honest in your journal. No one has to see it except for you, and it really can be the tool needed in your weight loss journey.

Kristen Lomas is a registered dietitian based in the Cayman Islands.

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