Why Maintaining a Weight Journal Works
Write and lose it! Lose weight simply by writing. Sounds too good to be true? We say, give it a try. Writing your weight-loss story can help you in battling the bulge and keeping it off permanently, according to a recent study. A study conducted on 1,700 overweight men and women revealed that people who maintained a health journal, where they jotted down their daily hits and misses which involved munching on a low-fat diet and exercising for 30 minutes per day, lost 9 to 10 kilos, compared to a 4.5 kilos loss among those who did not practice journaling.
According to researchers, the main reason why a food journal works is because of the following reasons:
- It acts as a deterrent- i.e. when you know you have to pen down your health journey of the day you will think twice before bingeing on that second serving of chocolate chip ice cream.
- It helps you attain accountability for your eating habits, and makes you focus on honest narrations about what you eat every day.
- They give you a solid record of your health success which would work as a boosting factor in order to maintain your lost weight in the future.
- It helps you understand which points in the day lead to diet sabotage and unhealthy food cravings and indulgences.
- It helps you pin point the portions you eat at every meal time.
The trick lies in being creative: Okay. Here’s a small task for you - Tell us, what does the word journal mean to you. Not literally, but what is that first image that crosses your mind when you think of this word. A friend told me, “A journal reminds me of a heavy spiralled leather book placed in the side drawl of my bed”. But, here’s the twist - A study conducted on 31 families, which went on for 8 weeks, revealed that teens who texted nutritionists immediately about their food and exercise habits were twice as likely to maintain a diet plan and stick to it for a long period of time. Don’t have a nutritionist? Fret not. Text your diet pal. You can also keep a note of your food habits online or on your phone.
What Should I write In My Journal? Whether you are part of today’s twitter generation, or an old school leather journal enthusiast, the trick lies in writing down each and every health related detail of the day for best and effective results. You must write about:
- Your starting weight.
- Your near future goals and what you aim to achieve through exercise and healthy eating.
- Write your body measurements down.
- Amount of food you consume – number of servings per food item.
- Exercising routine and your preferred form of exercise.
- Any other habit which you might think needs a special mention in your journal – your biggest weaknesses or your specific health condition.
- Make you are jotting down everything right after you finish eating it. This way you are less likely to indulge in overeating.
- Writing about your daily health habits is a great motivating factor which will keep you in race of health and fitness for long.
This study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and was mentioned in webMD.com