Diet Journal
7 Habits of Weight Loss

Keeping a Diet Journal

Why keep a diet journal?

The process of writing something down is very cathartic.

It helps us understand what we do and why we do it.

It puts things in black and white so we can no longer ignore the facts, and, if we are having trouble with something, the act of writing it down actually helps us work through it emotionally.

Two Types of Journal

When it comes to weight loss there are two basic types of diet journal that you might benefit from. You can choose to do one type or the other, or include both in your daily journal.

The first type of diet journal is simply a list of things you eat and how many calories, grams of fat, carbs, etc. in whatever amount of detail you see fit. This practical sort of journaling is suitable for several purposes, especially if you are under a medical watch of any kind for say, diabetes or high cholesterol. A list style journal is useful if you are doing any of the following:
  • Counting calories
  • Tracking Weight Watcher’s points
  • Monitoring cholesterol intake
  • Monitoring carbohydrates for controlling diabetes or dieting
Write down the foods in the order you eat them, or remember eating them. Write everything down because you might be surprised how many calories or grams of fat are in the small bites you take from someone else’s plate, or from the candy jar at work. Some interesting statistics will emerge after you have been journaling consistently for more than a week. You may notice you have a tendency to snack incessantly after dinner, or that most of your calories are consumed during the mid afternoon at work when boredom sets in and you are watching the clock for time to go home. You may find you are not drinking enough, or too much, or that you have developed a nasty junk food habit. You may not have realized that you are eating potato chips every day, rather than occasionally.

The second type of diet journal is one in which you write why you eat rather than what you eat. This type of diet journaling is not necessarily to list or count what you eat but rather to understand it. The objective is to develop a good mental picture of why you break down and overeat, fall off your diet, reach for the cookie jar, or the ice cream tub whenever things are not going so well. What you are trying to find out is what your triggers are. Some people crave fatty food under stress. Others need to “crunch” when they are angry – making potato chips better than chocolate under certain conditions. Some of us turn to comfort foods like mashed potatoes and chocolate when we are depressed.

By writing it down what made you eat, and developing some insight into your “triggers” you are closer to reaching the next step of either eliminate the trigger (learning to manage stress or avoid it, as an example), or by figuring out an alternative behavior – instead of reaching for the potato chips to crunch, reach for a celery stick, a piece of gum or a crunchy granola bar.
 
Philip Kustner

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The information found in and throughout The 7 Habits of Weight loss (www.7habitsofweightloss.com) is not intended as a substitute for the advice or treatment that may have been prescribed by your physician.
Information found here should NOT be construed as definitive or binding medical advice and is NOT intended to diagnose, prescribe, nor endorse any brand of products or services. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new weight loss or exercise regimen or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.