Double Your Weight Loss with Diet and Exercise Diaries
The benefits of keeping a journal or a diary is old news. It is a practice that dates back at least to 10th century Japan. Many a great mind has recorded his or her thoughts in diaries or journals, and we have been able to learn a great deal about quite a few historical figures from their writings.
Diaries are also used as a tool for self-discovery, and as individuals we are able to gain personal insight and promote our psychological well-being. Research suggests that journaling strengthens immune cells and decreases the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Journaling is also effective for reducing stress, solving problems more effectively, and resolving disagreements with others.
Journaling is a great way to help clarify and achieve goals. We can see the progress we make as well as how much further we need to travel to meet those goals. The goals can be simple or they can be difficult.
Research by Kaiser Permanente has shown that keeping a diary to record the food we eat can double a person’s weight loss while on a diet.
Benefits of Keeping a Food Journal
Funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health, the study conducted in 2008 found that the best predictors of weight loss were: The frequency of keeping food diaries, and the number of support sessions that were attended. The participants who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records at all.
Keeping a food diary makes us accountable for all that we eat. If we eat foods that we should not be having we must record the poor choice. Recording our infractions will help to keep us accountable.
Keeping a food journal will help to plan balanced meals that encompass all food groups and improve our nutritional status. Watching what we eat allows us to note any food groups we are neglecting and shorting ourselves of important nutrients. Satisfaction can also be had through review of the journal as we note improvements in our eating habits.
The best food diary is a detailed food diary. Everything that we eat or drink should be recorded including the portion size, the number of servings, and the number of calories. It is important to record the time of day we eat, where we eating and who we were eating with. Certain things or people can cause us to overeat.
Keeping an Exercise Journal
Achieving weight loss involves a series of small and consistent changes. Keeping track of those changes can be most useful in attaining the goal. As we progress in a program of exercise, we will need to keep a record of the changing level and intensity in that program.
An exercise diary can help clarify and focus on exercise goals, break down those goals into manageable bits, keep track of our activity and progress, manage our program, keep us motivated, prevent us from exercising too much, and help us to avoid injuries.
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