Journaling: the Secret to Losing Weight

by Lynne Bode

When it comes to losing weight, many factors influence ones success rate: support, exercise amount, caloric intake, etc. But one factor you may not have considered is actually an incredibly easy one to implement.

Keeping written logs of what you eat and also how much you exercise can be a real tell-tale prediction of your success. According to a National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute study, individuals who kept weekly food logs of their beverage and food intake lost twice as much weight as those who did not record their calories.

Twice as much! That is a very impressive success rate for such a relatively easy tool to implement into your weight loss arsenal. Many components of weight loss and fitness can be challenging. But, compared to those, it is quite easy to simply record what you eat every day and how much exercise you participate in.

All you need is a pen and paper. Then keep that with you at all times for accurate recordings. Or, for a more high-tech option, use your computer to keep your daily logs. You can use simple word processing software for this. But, an even better option is using a software or website that allows you to quickly and easily enter the information directly on your computer and have it stored for your own analysis (or a healthcare provider or fitness professional) and for historical reference.

Whatever method you use, start logging today. Here are some of the benefits of tracking your food and exercise:

Discourages mindless eating

Tracking what you eat encourages you to think about what you eat. The more you think about what you put in the mouth, the less likely you are to make poor choices.

Increases exercise adherence

An exercise log helps prevent workouts from being skipped.

Monitors the in/out equation

Losing weight comes down to calories taken in versus calories burned. Logs help bring that in to full, undisputable light.

Provides motivation

Recording every time you exercise (or don't) proves quite motivating as nobody wants to see an empty page that makes them feel that they are failing.

Identifies mind-body connection and root causes of overeating

A comprehensive food log that also includes your feelings and circumstances at the time you eat will help you better identify root causes of overeating and poor food choices.

Assists Your Healthcare providers

If you decide to illicit the help of a registered dietician or a personal trainer, being able to provide them with accurate history of what you have recently been doing will prove invaluable. It will help them quickly evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.

Check out for a great online option for food and workout logs, online diaries and even uploading your own video journals.

Lynn Bode is a certified personal trainer specializing in Internet-based fitness programs. She founded Workouts For You, which provides affordable online exercise programs that are custom designed for each individual. Visit: for tips, sample workouts and more. Fitness professionals, learn how to support your clients online, visit:

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