A weight loss journal can definitely be a helpful tool when it comes to achieving your goals.
It is a place where you can write out any thoughts, feelings, and other information about the journey of losing weight.
If you’re in pursuit of an ideal physical appearance or embarking on a diet for the first time, it’s important to set clear goals and keep track of your progress.
You can use a journal to record weight loss progress and even include photos of your progress.
With the right journal, you’ll be able to record your weight loss journey and review it as you work toward achieving your goals.
What Are The Benefits of Using A Weight Loss Journal?
A weight loss journal is a great way to record what you eat, how much exercise you get and how many calories you burn, which makes it easier to set new goals for yourself and monitor your progress.
Having a weight loss journal can keep your focus on your goal. Many people have trouble staying focused on their goals or staying motivated.
Using a weight loss journal can help to keep you on track. Here are a few benefits of using a weight loss journal:
Having a weight loss journal can help you take responsibility for setting and reaching goals.
When you start to write out your goals, you’ll be able to set goals in less than one minute and more likely to stay on track.
If you’re inconsistent with your goals, a weight loss journal is a better way to keep focus on your goal.
Creating and keeping a record of your weight loss journey is a great way to review progress in the near future or even years down the road.
Reviewing your progress in the journal will help you determine whether you need to make changes to achieve results faster or if additional efforts are needed.
Sometimes we need the motivation to help us reach our goals.
A weight loss journal can be a good place to record your accomplishments and use them as sources of encouragement when you feel that you’re not making progress fast enough.
Plus, it’s helpful to see your progress in black and white.
4. Keeps You Honest
When you write down your goals, it becomes a type of contract between you and yourself.
You’re more likely to stick with your goals and be more honest about the process if you have a written record of them.
5. Accountability Partner
In addition to writing down your goals, having a weight loss journal is like having an accountability partner who’s always there to motivate you and keep you on track.
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What Should be Included in A Weight Loss Journal?
When using a weight loss journal, it’s important to write down the same type of information every day. Your journal should include the following:
- Start Date
You’ll want to record the date that you start your journey and your weight so that you can track how much progress you’ve made.
2. Daily Calorie Intake
You should list your calorie intake for each day of the week.
It doesn’t matter what kind of food you eat or whether it’s healthy items, you just need to write down the number of calories that your body burns during a day.
3. Calories Burned Through Exercise
Record how many calories are burned through exercise per day and which exercises you performed to burn those calories.
It’s not necessary to record each individual exercise; just estimate how long and hard the exercise was so that you can add up how many calories were burned.
4. Calories Not Burned Through Exercise
Take a look at what you’re eating and how much you’re sedentary during the day. Write down how many calories that your body doesn’t burn through exercise and then subtract them from the total calorie intake.
5. Total Calorie Intake
Add the total calories burned and those not burned through exercise together to get a total calorie intake for every day of the week.
This is also known as your net calorie intake for that week.
6. Weekly Progress
Take a look at how much progress you’ve made each week, taking into consideration whether or not there was weight loss or weight gain over two weeks or a month instead of just one week’s worth of data.
You can use the last recorded number (such as weight or calorie intake) as your starting point for the new week.
Write down your goals for each week and try to meet them or exceed them. You don’t have to write a full paragraph about each goal, just briefly describe what you hope to accomplish during that week.
List any rewards that will help you stay motivated throughout the week and month.
A reward can be anything from a new outfit to treat yourself to a massage or even something simple like watching an hour of television without interruption from children or pets.
Take before and after photos to record your progress as you work toward your goals. This is a great way to keep track of where you started and how much progress you’ve made over time.
How To Use A Weight Loss Journal?
Here are three tips to help get the most out of your weight loss journal:
✅ Set a Specific Goal
Rather than setting weight loss at the end of your journey, write down your goal and break it down into smaller goals for each month or even week.
✅ Set Realistic Goals and Work Towards Them
Maybe you want to lose five pounds by the end of the month.
If you want to do more, such as cutting out junk foods completely for two weeks, then set a goal that’s greater than the strictest amount of weight loss that you can do in one week.
This might get you through those first two weeks without giving up on your goals.
✅ Reward Yourself
Writing down your goals is a major step toward achieving them. Make sure to reward yourself when you reach a goal.
Give yourself time to celebrate, and remind yourself that you’re making progress toward reaching your goals with each week completed.
✅ Keep Adding
As you use a weight loss journal, you can continually add to what you’re writing.
You don’t have to write about the same thing in every single entry for weeks on end. If you gain or lose weight, write it down and record your progress.
✅ Avoid Making Goals Too Big
Even if you’ve already completed several weeks of your journal, don’t make all of your goals at once.
If your goal is to lose 20 pounds by the end of the year, don’t set a goal to lose five pounds in one week and 10 pounds in another week and 15 pounds in another week.
Instead, set small goals for each week that will lead up to that larger one for the entire year.
✅ Make Your Goals As Realistic As Possible
You can work toward bigger or smaller goals. It’s important to put a realistic goal on the line because it will keep you from giving up if you stray from the path.
✅ Keep a Journal For Several Years
Studies show that keeping a weight loss journal for at least 1½ years longer than needed to achieve your goal shows significant improvements in weight loss and maintenance of results.
✅ Track for More Than Just Weight
It’s important to stay motivated and keep track of all of the factors that contribute to your weight loss.
If you’re working on building muscle, it will be helpful to record the amount of calories that you’re taking in as well as the calories that you burn through exercise.
Likewise, if you’re strictly cutting calories, you’ll also want to note how much activity you get each day and how many calories come from protein versus carbohydrates or even fat.
✅ Don’t Blame Yourself When Results Take a Turn
There will come a time when your progress slows, or maybe even reverses itself slightly.
Don’t beat yourself up over it because it’s not necessarily a sign that you’re doing something wrong.
Instead, try to keep your mind focused on what you’re doing right so that you can continue moving toward your goal.
✅ Be Realistic in Setting Goals
Sure, it looks great to weigh yourself each day and set smaller and smaller goals as you go along, but there are some things that can’t be achieved in a week or even a month.
You can’t lose pounds of fat if you don’t eat any fat, so don’t set expectations that your weight loss will be the result of losing pounds of fat per week or even grams of fat per week.
How To Make Your Weight Loss Journal Work?
There are many factors that can make or break a weight loss journal and its ability to help you lose weight. Here are some tips that you can use to make your journal work:
Choose a Specific Goal
Before you pick up your pen or start typing, take some time to look at where you’re at and where you want to be.
Make sure you know exactly what your goal is before you begin writing. When it comes down to it, the purpose of a weight loss journal is to keep track of how well you’re doing toward achieving your goals.
If the goal isn’t clear, then the journal can’t be used effectively.
Set Small Goals
It’s tempting to set large goals, especially if you’re hovering around the same weight or body mass index for a long time.
However, it’s better to break your goal into smaller pieces and set smaller goals that you can move toward as you complete each one.
There’s no point in setting a goal of losing 20 pounds if starting at 200 pounds and barely making an inch off your waistline won’t help you achieve your goal at all.
Set Realistic Expectations
You might be tempted to set some unrealistic expectations for how fast your weight loss will happen.
It can be easy to set a goal of losing two pounds every day when you’re not actually losing weight.
Instead, find a healthy, realistic number that you can aim for over time to reach the overall goal.
Keep Tabs on Your Weight
One of the most important techniques for using a weight loss journal is keeping track of your weight each time you weigh yourself.
This will help to keep you on track and give you an indication if there are any areas that need to be improved upon.
If there’s an unhealthy spike in your weight gain or loss, then make changes to your diet or exercise habits as needed until your journal shows better results.
Reward yourself twice each day if you do the right things.
This can be something small, such as reading a book or spending time with friends at the movies, or it can be something large, such as a vacation.
Don’t Skip Days
There are going to be days when you don’t eat the way you should or exercise the way you should.
It’s okay to skip those days because it’s part of the process of figuring out what works for you and how to keep on track by recognizing when your actions aren’t working in your favor.
There are going to be days when you need motivation. You will lose steam and your enthusiasm is going to wane.
When this happens, it’s important that you recognize this and find ways to get back on track with your weight loss journal.
Give Yourself a Break
If you’re tempted to skip meals because you feel like you’re not doing enough, try giving yourself a break once or twice a week for your meal or two for the day.
This can give you a mental boost and show that it’s okay to take care of yourself even when keeping track of your weight loss journal isn’t all that fun.
It’s never going to happen overnight.
This is perhaps the most important factor that you need to keep in mind when it comes to using your weight loss journal and keeping track of your progress.
You might have a picture-perfect plan, but until you actually do start losing weight, you will find it difficult to see results.
Your body can take time to adjust, and your lifestyle changes must be gradual so that you don’t change too much at once and accidentally undo what you’ve already accomplished.
Be Patient With Yourself
If you’re making good progress but suddenly lose it or something happens that throws off your plans for the week, don’t get discouraged or give up altogether.
Take a deep breath and look at what you can do to improve yourself.
Be patient with yourself as you retrace your steps and figure out what went wrong.
Your weight loss journal doesn’t have to be anything complicated.
As long as you have a notebook or computer that’s always nearby, you can record your daily activities and keep track of what has been working to help you achieve your goals.
If your journal is simple, then it will be easier for you to keep up with it each day and keep an ongoing stream of information available for analysis that will allow you to find ways to tweak things when they aren’t working for you.
In this article, we’ve shown you how to find the right weight loss journal for your needs, and how to develop a plan that will allow you to track and analyze your progress toward goals.
There are many different ways to use a weight loss journal, so find the one that works best for you and keep track of everything that will help you achieve your goal weight.