Keeping A Journal To Lose Weight
Keeping A Diet Journal
You're overweight, and you're out of shape, and you want to do something about it.
What's the first thing you should do, before you do anything else?
Start a journal, in which you will record a week's worth of your life.
This is a journal that you really should keep for the rest of your life, but it's important that you start keeping it as soon as you decide to take your future into your own hands and do something about it.
Most people who are significantly overweight are overweight because they eat too much. But, until they find out ‘why' they eat too much, they will never be able to lose weight, or, even if they do lose weight, they will be unable to keep it off.
Well, let's get serious with pronouns. ‘You' won't be able to lose weight until you figure out why you eat too much, nor will ‘you' be able to keep that weight off until you figure out that reason.
Ever pay attention to those advertisements on TV for the various weight loss programs like Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers? Ever see that very small print that they show at the very end of the commercial? "Results not typical."
That's because most people who go on diets never succeed in losing weight. Or, if they do lose weight, they soon gain it all back again...and not only that, but they gain even more weight.
Most diet programs fail because they don't target the reason why people overeat, or explain that "fad" diets never work because people expect to be able to go off such diets once they achieve their goal and frankly, you can't ever go off your diet (which is the main reason why you don't want to use a fad Diet, with a capital D, but rather a healthy, common-sense diet that you will be able to maintain all lifelong.
Why Do You Eat Too Much?
So, the first thing you've got to do is figure out why you eat too much.
Now, on very rare occasions, people actually have a medical condition where their stomachs don't send signals to their brains telling them that they're full. They continue to eat because they actually full achingly hungry all the time. In those rare occasions, medical assistance is necessary.
But most people overeat merely because they've developed bad habits that trigger their desire to eat, and it is necessary to break those bad habits. And that is where keeping a journal comes in.
What To Record in Your Journal For at least seven days before you start on your new diet and exercise regime, keep a daily journal in which you record practically everything.
1. What time you get up, and how you feel in the morning.
2. What you eat and drink each day - for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and any snacks in between.
3. Also, what time you eat your major meals of the day, and how you feel after finishing each meal - both mentally and physically.
4. In addition, the time when you eat each snack, and how you feel, both physically and mentally, before and after you do so.
You will find, after the course of seven days, that you have a very good idea of how much you're actually eating, when you're eating, and why you're eating.
Take myself, for example. For many years (many years ago) I had a habit of drinking a nice, ice-cold Pepsi each time I sat in front of my computer and started doing my work. And every time I needed a break, I'd go for a brief walk... but then I'd get another Pepsi and sit down at the computer again. In this way, I'd drink four Pepsis a night (that's over 500 empty calories).
Now, obviously I didn't need a journal to tell me that I had that bad habit... and I knew that the weight I was gaining was because of those 500 extra calories a day. I had to give up those Pepsis, and I don't deny that it was hard. I had as hard a time giving up Pepsi as some people have giving up coffee or cigarettes. But I did it.
However, many people have more subtle habits. They're depressed for some reason (an argument on the phone, a certain time of day when they used to go out dating but no longer do so, and so on) and that's when they start eating.
By keeping a journal of these times, by getting in touch with our feelings of depression - or boredom - we can learn how to channel those feelings into more positive outlets.
After those seven days it's time to start your regime and diet.
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