Journal Tips To Help You Lose Weight

Journal Tips to Help You Lose Weight

 

 

Monitoring or keeping track of your dietary intake is an important part of establishing healthier eating habits. Putting it down on paper pushes your awareness to a level that you did not have before. According to the National Weight Loss Registry, people who keep food records are the most successful with weight loss. Documenting dietary intake causes individuals to think twice about selecting healthy foods and snacks that are correctly sized. They also are able to identify individuals, situations, and times of the day that they are more likely to overeat. Keeping a journal makes you stop and reflect on the HALTSBV (hungry, angry, lonely, tired, stressed, bored, and viewed or smelled it) triggers, instead of mindlessly eating. 

Remember:

  • You are accountable for your intake.
  • You are accountable for your weight.
  • A food diary helps you tie these together.          

                        

When writing in your journal:

  • Make honest and accurate entries.
  • Keep your entries specific.
  • Record timely entries by carrying your journal with you, whenever possible.

Keeping your journal

You should begin making entries in your daily journal the moment you wake up. The following descriptions will help you know what information to record in each column of your journal. 

What day and time?

  • Write the day of the week in the upper left hand corner.
  • Write the time of day for each eating and activity or exercise entry.

 

What type of meal?                

  • Enter a B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner, or S=snack to describe the type of meal or snack you are eating. 

What portion size?                 

Use the following guidelines to help you estimate portion sizes:

  • ½ teaspoon=a finger tip
  • 1 teaspoon=a thumb tip
  • 2 tablespoons=1 golf ball
  • 1 small fruit=a computer mouse
  • 1 medium fruit=baseball
  • 1½ ounce cheese=6 dice
  • 1-2 ounces snack food=small handful
  • 3 ounces=deck of cards or palm of hand
  • 1 pancake or waffle=a 4″ CD
  • 4 small cookies=casino chips
  • ½ cup fruit, vegetable, or cooked cereal, pasta, or rice=1 small fist
  • 1 tortilla= a small 7″ plate
  • 1 muffin=1 large egg

 

What food or beverage did you eat or drink?                     

  • Literally, write down everything that enters your mouth, even water, vitamins, and herbs. 

 

Where were you?

  • Write down the specific location where you were while you were eating.

 

Who were you with?  

  • If you were all by yourself, write “alone.”
  • If you were with other people, write down your relationship to the person or the person’s name.

 

Why did you eat?

  • H=hungry
  • A=angry
  • L=lonely
  • T=tired
  • S=stressed
  • B=bored
  • V=viewed or smelled it

 

If none of these options describe why you ate, write the reason in the space provided.   

 

What activity or exercise?

  • If you were doing another activity while you were eating, write it down in the space provided.
  • Also include a description of any activities or exercises that you did, such as:
  • o Vacuuming
  • o Gardening
  • o Raking leaves
  • o Walking
  • Make sure you document the total amount of time you spent performing the activity.

 

Sample journal

What Day and

Time?

What

Type

of Meal?

What Portion Size?

What Food or Beverage Did You Eat or Drink?

Where Were You?

Who Were You With?

 

 

Why Did You Eat?

What Activity or

Exercise?

Wednesday

B=breakfast

L=lunch

D=dinner

S=snack

 

 

 

 

H=hungry

A=angry

L=lonely

T=tired

S=stressed

B-bored

V=viewed or smelled it

 

6 am

B

2 C

Coffee

 

Bathroom

Alone

 

H

Getting ready for work

 

 

 

2 Tbsp sugar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Tbsp cream

 

 

 

 

7 am

B

1 pkg

Pop-Tarts®, strawberry

Car

Alone

H

Driving

8:30 am

 

S

1 C

Coffee

Desk

Alone

V

Working

 

 

 

 

1 Tbsp sugar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Tbsp cream

 

 

 

 

11:45 am

L

1

McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets® (6 piece)

Restaurant

Mary

H

 

 

 

 

1 pkg

Ranch dip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 large

French fries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 large

Coca-Cola®

 

 

 

 

3 pm

S

1 pkg

M&M’s®

Desk

Alone

S

Typing material for deadline

 

 

 

1 C

Coffee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Tbsp sugar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Tbsp cream

 

 

 

 

6 pm

S

2 oz

Cheddar cheese

Kitchen

Alone

T

H

Fixing dinner

6:30 pm

D

1½ C

Spaghetti noodles

Dinner table

Husband and kids

H

 

 

 

½ C

Spaghetti sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four
1-oz

Meatballs and ¼ C Parmesan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

½ C

Green beans

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 slices

Garlic bread (store bought)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 fl oz

Whole milk

 

 

 

 

7:30 pm

S

2

Chocolate chip cookies

Kitchen

Alone

V

Emptied/filled dishwasher

8 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sit-ups :20, Push-ups: 25

8:30 pm

 

 

4

Oreo cookies

TV room

Husband

B

 

 

 

12 fl oz

Caffeine-Free Coca-Cola®

TV room

Husband

B

 

C=cup, fl oz=fluid ounces, oz=ounce, pkg=package, Tbsp=tablespoon

Contributed by Sheryl Lozicki, RD, MBA

Review Date 1/10

RD411.com

 

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