Keeping A Journal To Lose Weight

Diet Journal

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.

Morning Breakfast

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.

More by this Author

  • Symptoms Of An Infected Tattoo

    Any time you have any type of surgery, or do anything that involves cutting or pricking the skin, you risk getting an infection. An infection can cause serious problems for you, ranging from destroying your new tattoo...

Comments 13 comments

Marie-Jeanne 7 years ago

I really agree with a journal, also people have to stop eating dead food.

Such as white bread, white pasta, white rice; they act like glue in the intestine and people get a nice belly.

You will notice that instead of 4 slices you might become full with only 2.

The secret is to eat ''Alive food''

Whit 7 years ago

Thanks for the info!

raman 7 years ago

its very good amazing site

MBH 7 years ago

If anyone is eating much and/or eating the wrong types of food in the wrong time of the day; this can really lead to many serious health problems.

Keeping a journal can be an important step to discover, face, understand, admit and start working on changing this bad habit.

Swapan Dhar 7 years ago

Nice blog I must say. I am not actually fat but I do have a ugly looking belly. I look at my belly and I know that I have to eat less and that is all. I never actually tried to eat less. I have 3 major meals a day. I keep saying to myself that I must eat less but I just couldn't. I really don't know how much 'less' should I eat. Not only this, we Indians are mostly rice eaters and that makes it even worse. Right now I wish I had a flat stomach. I know most people will tell me to take excercises daily. It is easier said than done. Any way, I think I should try to follow the advice given on this blog and see if it works.

Monica 7 years ago

This is really good advice. I lost weight a few years ago and the way I started was by keeping a journal about my weight and weight loss goals. Once you start writing it all down, it can be quite a wake up call. Glad to see this hub!

sandbunny6 7 years ago

This is a great idea. Most of us never pay attention to what and how much we consume. Thank you for sharing!

Catherine 7 years ago

This is an excellent idea! I know that I reach for that ice cream more often than I want to admit, but it would be nice to know WHY I feel the need for that comfort food. I think the hardest part is to admit to yourself what the problems are... a private journal could be the start.

Tincan509 7 years ago

I love this article it explains the issues of losing and gaining weight in a way that everbody can understand. This was so good that im going to try to put these ideas in my daily life style.

connielee 7 years ago

It's also good to keep track of emotional eating-every time I get upset at my husband, I head right for the fiddle faddle!

NYLady profile image

NYLady 7 years ago from White Plains, NY

Great hub. Every good diet program encourages you to keep a journal, and it really does work. It organizes your day and forces you to think hard about your food choices. Very helpful information here!

ajcor profile image

ajcor 7 years ago from NSW. Australia

thanks for this very informative hub ufgcom - I am going to have a go at keeping a food diary - have tried to lose weight for years - manage tp then put it back on - such a pain! but the theory of your first "commenter" dead versus alive food - wow - never thought of that before. cheers

ufgcom profile image

ufgcom 7 years ago from Florida Author

As I get older I realize how much I eat out of instinct and not really thinking about what I eat. I am used to just eating whatever but by keeping a journal for just a week you can really see how much and how bad you really do eat. It definitely opens the eyes... you should try it.. especially if you are trying to lose weight!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article