Want to lose weight and keep it off? Research has shown that the most effective way to reduce the number of calories each day is to keep track of what you eat.
Multiple studies have shown the benefits of recording what foods you eat and what activities you perform when it comes to reaching your weight loss goals.
So if you want to lose weight, the first thing you need to do is start a diet and exercise journal. Here are some things you should know about keeping a diet and exercise ledger.
The Old-Fashioned Way
There are several ways of going about a diet journal. The first is using simple, old-fashioned pen and paper or spiral bound journal. If you don’t have easy access to a computer, the Internet, or phone apps – or if you prefer to do things the old-fashioned way, this is the way to go. Find a steno-pad or spiral notebook lying around the house or buy one if you don’t have one in decent shape. On the first page, make four columns. On the first column, list the days of the week down the side of the page. At the top of the other three columns write, “calories,” “weight,” and “exercise.”
Please watch “The Secret Weapon” video for more information.
– Anthony Doerrs
On the next page, start your journal for day one. If you write small enough, you can fit several days on each page. Just divide the page neatly into separate columns. For each new day, record your weight. Then write what you eat and drink for breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, evening snack, and whatever else you sneak into your mouth. Beside each food, write down the calorie count for each.
Then record the exercise activities you participated in, how long you did each exercise, and the number of calories you burned.
For each day, include a personal space to write down the emotions, struggles, temptations, failures, and triumphs of the day. You may also want to write down what’s going on in your life: the stresses, joys, lows, and highs.
At the end of the day, tally the total calories you consumed as well as the total number of calories you burned and record these two numbers, along with your weight, on the first page. Then, at the end of each week you’ll be able to see your progress. After a few months of keeping a diet journal you’ll be able to see how many calories you should consume to maintain or lose weight. From your personal entries of failures, successes, and day-to- day life, you should also be able to track what triggers you to eat more or less food.
Create a Spreadsheet
A second option for keeping a diet diary is with your computer. If you’re knowledgeable with computers, create a spreadsheet for each day and save the different days in separate files. Doing this will allow you to save paper, and if you save it online, you’ll be able to access it anywhere.
If you have access to the Internet, your diet journal resources are endless. Do a search for “diet journal,” and you’ll find dozens of free journals to use online or to print out. Find one that works for you, use it consistently, and you should enjoy watching your waistline shrink.
Another convenient option is using one of the huge numbers of free mobile phone apps for diet journals. These online tools make it easy to track your meals and exercise and you can access your journal anywhere there’s an Internet connection. What makes these programs especially handy is their extensive database of foods and corresponding calorie count. Many of these online calorie-counter journals also offer discussion forums so you can share your struggles and tips while getting advice and accountability from others. Set your weight loss goals and these programs come up with a personalized diet profile to help you reach your goals.
Track Your Progress
A diet journal is only helpful if used consistently. Remember that it’s the small, daily changes that make a difference. And no one has to see your journal except you, so be honest. Though a seemingly small and simple step, using your journal as motivation can result in giant steps toward your weight loss success!
If you live in the Gilbert area, treat yourself right by calling or emailing today to get started on an exercise program that will change your life for the best.
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