Many of the better, and most successful, weight loss programs either come with a
food journal or recommend that you keep one. If you take a few minutes each day to write down what you eat,
when you eat it, how you’re feeling, and other information
you may like to include, you can have significantly more success with your weight
loss efforts than people who do not keep a food journal.
A study of 3000 overweight men and women showed that those who wrote
down what they ate in a food journal-along with an exercise and healthy eating
program-lost 16 pounds in 18 weeks compared to the group who did no utilized a
journal who lost 8 pounds. The act of writing something down in a journal acts as a deterrent and knowing you
have to do that might put you off eating that extra portion.
A food journal makes you accountable and that can make the difference between you eating healthy and
sticking to your program or fail.
Here is a list of some of the things you many want to track in your food journal. Remember, no one is going to
see this journal but you, so be accurate and honest. That is the only way you will benefit from what you record:
What you ate and in what quantities;
Calories, grams of fat, grams of protein, grams of carbohydrates,
Were you really hungry or just craving something;
What time of day did you eat;
What were you doing that may have triggered your desire to eat;
How did you feel right after you ate? Satisfied, over-full, still hungry?
How did you feel about two hours after you ate?
If you are subject to “emotional” eating or eating when you aren’t really hungry, it is important to identify why.
What was the emotional experience you were going through when you felt you needed to eat? Did you enjoy the
food, or just bolt it down? Maybe you were having bad feelings that you wanted to suppress, and the food
worked to “push” down the feelings.
The important thing is to tie the emotional eating with a particular situation. Then, when you are not caught up in
this emotion, calmly think of a way you can satisfy whatever situation the food was solving for you with a non-
food response. You maybe amazed at how much you mindlessly eat when you are in the throes of an
emotion and not really hungry at all. But you won’t get these connections if you do not keep track in a food