My Dear Diary, Thanks For Helping Me Lose Weight
Dear diary, thanks for helping me lose weight
Making a diary is certainly one of the smartest steps, in your fight to lose weight.
Keeping a food diary while trying to lose weight is probably one of the easiest and smartest steps you can take in order to achieve your goal. Losing that extra weight is not easy; you have to keep track of a lot of things, from what you eat to what's in your meals, to how much exercise you have done, to how this is all affecting your body. You also need to consider how you are mentally and emotionally handling this very difficult journey.
Using a diary gives you a great place to keep track of the details. It helps you get into the habit of recording them. It also gives you a place to spill your feelings and struggles, to record your success and failures. When you are further into the weight loss journey, or at the point in which you are maintaining your weight, this diary is an invaluable tool to look back on to remember how far you have come and what you've accomplished. It also details what has worked for you, and what has not worked.
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What do I write in my diary?
There are several things you can keep track of in your food diary. Some are absolute musts, because they are an important part of your weight loss journey. Others are optional things that depend on your personality or what you think will help you.
- Keep track of your weight and measurements. There should be a place in your diary (perhaps the front or last page) in which you can list your weight and measurements at your official weigh-ins every week or two.
- Your food intake; it's important to keep track of everything you're putting in your mouth, from your first cup of coffee to your last dessert at night. Nothing-- no soft drink or pat of butter-- should be left out. This really helps you get used to understanding what constitutes a sensible meal or snack, in sensible portions.
- Food details; don't just keep track of what and how much you eat. Start getting used to adding up the calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein, cholesterol, sodium, vitamins and minerals your food has. Knowing this will encourage you to keep striving for a balance diet.
- Supplements you might be taking; if your doctor has prescribed any weight loss supplements or vitamins, or if you've chosen to take any over-the-counter products, you should keep track of them and how much you are taking.
- Your exercise routine; each day, list how much you exercise, how long, repetitions, miles, laps or whatever else might apply. You may occasionally find you need to up your exercise intensity or change your routine once in a while to keep the weight coming off.
Optional but Recommended:
- Keep track of your moods and feelings. You may find that they go in cycles. Perhaps days in which you eat simple carbohydrates you find yourself hungrier-- in which case, you might want to cut down on simple carbs because they spark cravings. Perhaps the days you drink smoothies you feel more satisfied and full of energy at the gym-- in which case you might want to make a smoothie part of your daily routine when you're going to work out. You may not notice these patterns until you record them.
- What you learn about food, nutrition and exercise; this should be an ongoing quest to educate yourself about what your body needs, as well as what it doesn't need.
- Things that cause you to overeat; if you find you tend to go off the diet around holidays, or after social occasions, or when you smell chocolate, it helps to know this. You can avoid putting yourself in these situations again, or be pro-active.
- Your thoughts and emotions; write about how you are feeling on your diet. If you feel sad or frustrated, writing can be a great way to help you let it out and sort through it. If you feel happy or proud of yourself, writing it down will help you remember on your hard days that you have had small successes and should be give yourself credit.
- inspirational quotes and sayings
- pictures of yourself at different weight loss stages
- photos of the cute clothes you want to buy
Traditional or High Tech
When thinking of writing a diary, a lot of people still think about a pen and a blank journal. But while some people consider hand-writing everything therapeutic, others consider it time-consuming and a bother.
When writing a food diary there is no need to be fixed on the old "pen and paper" method. Sure you can have a small notebook which you can slide with the rest of your personal things into your bag, and pull it out when you have time write in it, or end your day writing in it. Those who like using more Hi-Tech gadgets may use laptops, palm pilots, blackberry or any other PDAS for their food diary. Simply choose the right way for you whatever it is traditional or Hi-Tech.
Some people love working with Excel shits and that is great, if you want to add totals and keep very detailed track of everything. Others may prefer writing a blog that everyone else can read-- knowing other people are out there going through the same thing, cheering you on or keeping track of your journey can be motivating in itself. This is a great way to garner support.
Lose Weight diary
Reviewing your diary often
Just writing a diary or journal is not enough to help you on your journey. While it's great to help get out whatever is swimming around in your head, reviewing it on a regular basis is important as well.
Try to review it at-least once a week. Check your progress; look back on how you've eaten for the week, how much you've exercised and how much weight you've lost or gained. Look at what your moods and feelings have been for the week-- have you been depressed? Had it been a hard week? Did it cause you to overeat or to perhaps undereat? Did it get in the way of your exercise? How can you avoid this in the future?
Perhaps you've had a good week and have been going strong--what did you do right? Can you keep up the momentum?
The most difficult in managing daily food diary is the decision to start one. After you already have started it, you will probably see in a few days that it is really simple and has wonderful affect on your diet. Many people, all over the world, using this method to help them lose weight and there is no reason why you won't get some great results from it too.
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