Article by Shyley McFarland
Reviewed by Emily Garber, APRN
Have you ever kept a journal? Journaling is a great way to clear your mind, express yourself without the worry of being judged, to have a dialogue with yourself about your hopes, dreams, failures, disappointments, joys, and successes. It's essentially the story of your life. If you are starting a weight-loss or fitness journey, you need a weight-loss journal.
In your weight-loss toolbox, you probably have a workout plan, which may include videos, a private trainer, or membership in a gym. You may have purchased new workout clothes. You probably also have some sort of meal plan, whether it's a written one or prepackaged foods you receive from a weight-loss program. Along with these things, you should have a weight-loss journal in the toolbox.
What Goes in the Weight-Loss Journal
In your weight-loss journal, you will keep vital information that will help you improve and succeed every day. This information should include:
Your weight - everyone hates to weigh, but it is the scale (pun intended) you use most commonly to measure your weight loss success. Weight fluctuates easily, however, and therefore you need the next bit of information in your weight loss journal.
Your measurements - Often, the scale may show that you are not losing weight. It may even show that you have gained weight. However, your measurements will determine whether your workout plan and/or eating plan are really working. The scale may not show a loss in actual weight, but the tape measure will show a loss in inches from your body.
What you ate - This is information you will look at more often than you might think. If you gain weight or lose no weight or inches, you can look back at your food intake to help determine if the reason lies within your food choices. In the future, you can look back in time to get some fresh inspiration for meals. Be sure to keep information regarding how much you ate, the calorie, fat, and carb counts, as well as whether you liked the food. You could even rate the meals with stars in your weight-loss journal.
What you drank - Too often, people simply are not aware of how much or how little they have hydrated. Some may not realize how much soda or other sugary beverages they are drinking. Logging this information in your journal will keep you aware, and it will help to ensure that you are reminded to drink plenty of water. Do not just log water, however. Log all liquids you drink from your morning coffee to your evening glass of wine. Log the amounts you drank, as well as the caloric and nutritional value of each beverage.
What physical activity you did - When you want to lose weight, you've got to have some sort of plan for physical exercise. You don't have to work out in a gym or take a class. You can take a walk and dance around in the privacy of your own home if you prefer. You can also find plenty of free videos online of beneficial workouts. Whatever physical activity you do, it's important to