Many people exercise and eat healthy but they are still unable to keep a track of their weight loss efforts.
Using a weight loss planner can help you make informed choices about your health. Yet, most people believe that keeping a weight loss planner is a tedious and time consuming job.
That is not the case. A good weight loss planner can be your companion on your weight loss journey; it will go with you wherever you go and can be your guide in selecting the right foods. Now you might say that there are mobile apps to do the same.
However, most mobile apps are rather impersonal in that; they do not let you record how you “think and feel” about your meals. They do not let you internalize the right food choices.
A good weight loss journal on the other hand allows you to write down your thoughts and feelings about each food you eat which is a very important factor in helping you lose weight.
I have myself used weight loss journals and believe they have aided me in achieving my health goals. Today I will be enlisting top benefits of using a weight loss planner.
Why Should Every Weight Watcher Keep a Weight Loss Journal?
Here are some things that a weight loss planner can do:
1. Weight loss planner can help you focus on your weight loss goals
A good weight loss planner can empower you to plan your goals, take action to reach them and be intentional in every way in your every day. The right planner will help you reach both your short and long term health goals.
What are your goals? Would you like to improve your health? Look great in your new LuLaRoe leggings?
Most planners have set weekly roadmaps that not only let you decide on your goals; but also help you break them down to achieve it. Writing down goals is a perfect way of connecting daily efforts with desired results.
2. Helps you analyse your weight loss efforts
A weight loss planner gives you the opportunity to reflect on what did not go as expected while also giving you an opportunity to improve on that area in the future. This will help you answer the question: “What if I hit the same obstacle tomorrow?”
Over time, you will see opportunities for improvement as you go about your daily tasks. You can review “lessons learned” lists over the weeks and months to see how much you have grown and learned.
3. Helps you break down goals into achievable chunks
A weight loss planner helps you set and achieve smart, measurable and time bound goals. Just as a financial company would rather focus on quarterly accomplishments instead of year-long goals, so would a weight watcher benefit from small daily and weekly goals. A weight loss journal can take huge goals and create actionable steps to help you complete them over a defined time period.
4. Helps you plan your eating patterns
A good weight loss planner will help you establish the correct eating patterns that are designed to prevent dips in energy and also help you burn calories based on your weight, gender and total calorie intake. The weight loss planner I use includes very cute emojis – so, for example, if I snack unnecessarily, I need to enter the emoji for what I was feeling - which helps me avoid that snack the next time I am feeling down.
It is great to be able to tick the happy face at the end of the day so you feel good every day and, in this way, change your eating patterns for life.
5. Helps you track your progress
Success in life, in any field, is the sum of good habits you create and good habits should be practiced daily. A weight loss planner serves as a daily reminder to track your weight loss progress so you can achieve your goals faster without getting sidetracked by detours.
Also there is a reflection area in these planners which allows you to reflect on your day and week so you know what is working and what isn’t.
6. Helps you track your calorie intake
The most important aspect of weight loss includes quantifying your efforts in terms of kilos lost, as well as calorie tracking. Most women need about 1200 to 1500 calories per day. This may differ based on body type, activity levels etc.
Men naturally have higher calorie needs per day. In any case, simply by being aware of your calorie needs as well as about how many calories you consume per meal can help you lose up to 7-8 kilos (15 pounds) in a month!
7. Helps you better understand and manage eating habits
Often, unhealthy eating habits are not as much about food as they are about difficult things in life and how we are feeling. A journal can help you document these mood swings and can help you take practical steps to change these unhealthy habits.
8. Helps you practice portion control
The basic rule of weight management is that people lose weight when they eat less than what they burn. A weight loss journal helps open your eyes to portion sizes which in turn can help you limit your calorie intake. In addition to helping you change what you eat; a weight loss planner helps you aim for smaller, healthier meals.
9. Helps prevent emotional eating
Emotional eating can be beaten and keeping a food journal is the best tool to do so. Food journals encourage you to record what you eat and your mood at that time.
Over time, this habit helps you note whether you are eating in response to negative emotions. You can also list down trigger situations that lead you to comfort eating. Next you can take steps to avoid those triggers.
For example, if your commute to work encourages you to reach for a bag of chips, you could try taking a shorter route or use some other distraction.
10. Takes out guesswork from weight loss equation
Daily meal plans, calorie trackers and exercise tips can all help take the guesswork out of the weight loss equation. When you write daily in the journal, you will enjoy the right nutrition and energy without starving or depriving yourself.
11. Helps improve nutrition
Keeping a food and weight loss journal can help you see how often you eat empty calorie foods like cakes and cookies or load up on second servings of cheese etc. There are many success stories of people having lost hundreds of kilos just by maintaining a daily food journal for a year.
12. Keeps you motivated
There is nothing like a weight loss planner to keep you motivated. We often cannot remember what we ate for breakfast, lunch or dinner as well as the numerous snacks in between. This can change with the help of a planner.
Studies have shown that recording your weight loss efforts can help you cut calories, eat healthier, and also keep you motivated. Many people actually begin by only documenting what they eat first and later this habit has actually known to encourage them take up regular exercise.
13. Stops unconscious eating
Do you really know how often and how much you are eating? Most obese people snack mindlessly between meals and do not even know it! Many sit before the TV and polish of bags and bags of chips without awareness. A weight loss planner requires you to keep track of each and every food item you have eaten in a day.
This way, you can take a look at the previous entries and see which calorie-empty foods you can eliminate. Thus, a weight loss journal is the best tool to stop unconscious or emotional eating.
14. Helps you understand the relationship between our eating, exercise, lifestyle and successful weight loss
Successful weight loss comes with dietary and lifestyle changes. A food journal or weight loss planner can help you record everything you eat and prevent you from eating unhealthy, calorie-empty food items or binge eating.
Weight loss journal also gives tips like "drink more water", "stop eating when you feel full" and "avoid simple sugars’" These constant reminders can go a long way in helping you stay motivated. These factors play a huge role in weight loss.
15. Helps you understand how stress affects your weight loss
Stress releases cortisol which prepares our body for flight or fight response. However, with chronic stress, you experience hunger pangs and cravings for carbohydrates causing weight gain. Stress also affects how the body stores fat by allowing fat cell maturation.
Most stressed people use food as a coping mechanism. A weight loss journal helps you correlate your mood with your snacking. Using a food weight loss journal can help you identify if you are stress eating, eating out of boredom or habit. It can help you identify eating patterns and eliminate stress eating.
16. Helps understand our sleeping patterns
Studies have shown that sleep, both excess and insufficient, can lead to weight related issues. Similarly, studies have shown a link between quantity and quality of sleep and its role in regulating the hunger hormone called ghrelin which controls appetite.
You will also find studies directly correlating obesity and sleep. People who sleep less than 5 hours a day are more likely to be obese and prefer unhealthy carbohydrates or snacks. A weight loss journal can tabulate this correlation so you’d feel more inclined to sleeping better.
For example, warm milk or hot chocolate are some beverages that help you sleep better. These recordings can help you make better food choices.
17. Help you track your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, Body Mass Index, etc.
As stated above, keeping a food diary and/or a weight loss journal can help you limit your calories which, in turn, can aid in weight loss. Just by skipping 500 calories per day can lead to a weight loss of up to 2 kilos per week. This is great for blood pressure, cholesterol and BMI as well.
18. Provide a hard record of your successes
Simply start by recording what you eat for a month. Place the record somewhere you can see daily (bathroom, kitchen, workplace etc). At the end of the month, tabulate your sleep, weight loss and other healthy changes. Just by doing this activity for a month will motivate you to keep a record for a lifetime. This will lead to best of health!
Best Weight Loss Planner - Why I Love my Food and Exercise Journal
As can be seen, there are tremendous benefits of using a food journal and weight loss planner.
I myself have seen tremendous success in my weight loss efforts by tracking what I eat along with my moods and feelings.
And that is why I am going to recommend the best weight loss planner which I have been using all along.
Before I discovered this tool, I had used mobile apps, online programs etc.
There were many flaws with these tools, the major one being that they would not allow me to maintain a hard record of my ups and downs on the weight loss journey.
Most applications were also limited in terms of what one was allowed to record.
I had even tried printable weight loss journals but they were never as good, not comprehensive enough and I found them too time consuming to print, record and store. Often I would find myself skipping days of recording.
On top of that, by the time you print and bind them, printable weight loss journals end up to be quite expensive.
But all this changed when I came across the I Love my Food and Exercise Journal.
This awesome tool comes with 2 pages per day of recording whatever you eat and also your mood. There are separate sections for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner alongside Snacks and a convenient place for you to add calories at the end of each day.
I had absolutely no trouble recording with this handy diary. It wasn’t a chore anymore and it certainly was not something I found myself procrastinating. In fact; I could not wait to record the stuff I had eaten and tabulate my progress at the end of each day. Check it out here.
I Love my Food and Exercise Journal - Salient Features
- This is a great sized book that allows you to monitor your weight loss efforts even on the go.
- There is no date - so you can start recording at any point during the year and it costs less then many printables.
- Based on reviews about this journal - it is the bestselling product in its category. Users really seem to love it and many have come to it just as I did - after failing to use online tools and mobile recording applications. Just have a look at the following testimonials.
~ “Bulletproof tracking tool for food and feelings.”
That is how a user has described the I Love My Food and Exercise Journal and I could not have put it any differently. It allows you to record what you ate, how you were feeling and if you were really hungry.
You can also track water intake, fruit and vegetable servings, record your starting weight and measurements and at the end of the week. Next, you can reflect and summarize on all that you have eaten during that week - a feature that helps you make changes and analyse your progress.
~ “This is the first food journal I could make sense of."
Many people find tracking their daily food intake a chore. Often, tools and planners available online are highly complicated and user-unfriendly. Most do not serve their purpose and many people stop tracking their intake due to their complexity.
~ “The emojis (smiley faces) are great."
Personally I loved the cute smiley faces on each page. They help you track your feelings and how a particular emotion is attached to what you craved. This is very important to avoid emotional eating and also manage stress. You actually learn to observe how you feel and to stay in the moment.
Over time, you also learn that each emotion changes like the seasons - so if you are feeling happy, there is no reason you may not feel low in a little while. What this helps you see is that your feelings have nothing to do with food.
~ “It has space for documenting your reasons for snacking."
Documenting why you snacked helps prevent snacking next time round. So you can include thoughts and feelings about why you ate a particular empty-calorie snack. Reading these entries later can help you get back on track.
That said; it is better than any printable fitness planner I have used. Once you learn how to keep a weight loss journal you will find that this tool will really accelerate your weight loss efforts and soon you will be on the path to looking and feeling good.
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