Weight Loss Journal Print Out, Tips and Ideas

1
How to Make Your Own Weight Loss Journal

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A weight loss journal can be the key to diet success.  Are you ready to make your own food diary and exercise log?

Start by picking a spiral notebook or a bound, lined journal. Then decide what you are going to write in your weight loss diary. Obviously, the first thing you want to record is your total food and drink intake for the day.

Need a guide? You can download or print this food journal and paste it into your new weight loss journal or you can simply use it as a guide. It can help you to remember what you ate at each meal and snack. It can also help you plan meals and snacks in advance.

Try to include an exact portion size of each food and beverage. Serving size matters! And remember, keeping an accurate food journal means writing down everything that you consume, including samples and tastes while you are cooking. We often eat without being truly conscious of it. Your new food diary is the best way to get a true idea of your food intake.

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How to Record Nutrient Data

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Your weight loss journal should also include nutrient data for the food and drinks that you consume.

Record your portion size, keeping in mind that your portion size may be different than the serving size listed on the Nutrition Facts label.  If you do not know the portion of the food you ate, you can eyeball your food intake to get an estimate .

If you don't have a Nutrition Facts label available for the food you eat, use the calorie counter at Calorie Count or another nutrition data website or app to get important information like calories and protein, fat, carbohydrate, and fiber grams.

You may find it easier to do this record-keeping all at one time at the end of the day instead of taking the time to do it little by little as the day progresses.

3
Record Your Meal Times

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If possible, try to jot down the time you start eating and the time you finish eating. Recording your meal times and meal duration will help you see if you are eating too fast. Many dieters (and non-dieters) eat too quickly.

You will also notice if you are eating too often. Some dieters find it helpful to eat on a regular schedule rather than grazing all day long. Eating too often could be a sign that you are not eating balanced meals. Frequent eating can also cause weight gain or diet failure

4
Journal Your Eating Environment

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You should also record where you eat and who you are with when you snack or eat a meal. This information can help you identify factors that may influence how you eat.

If you eat alone, do you eat while you're sitting at your computer? Or do you eat at the kitchen or dining table? Are you always with the same friends and family when you eat too much? Do you find you eat too much when you watch TV?

If you journal about your eating environment and eating circumstances, you may be able to identify the situations that are best for your diet and worst for your diet. Use the information to eat less no matter where you are.

5
Rate Your Hunger

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You may find it helpful to rate your hunger level before each meal. You should use a simple scale such as 1 to 5, with 1 being not hungry and 5 being the most hungry. Just jot down the number before you record what you eat.

You may find that you often eat when you're not hungry. When you review your journal, you will be able to see whether or not this is a factor in your diet.

You may find that you frequently eat because you're very hungry. If that is the case then you can include more foods that help curb hunger so that you don't crave food as often.  

6
Record Your Emotions

food journal tips - emotional eating
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Lastly, if you suspect that you tend to eat in response to emotions or stress, it is a good idea to note your feelings in your food journal, too. It's important to write them down both before and after your meal. Doing so will help you to understand what emotions cause you to eat and what effect certain foods have on those emotions.

You may wish to make a note of the specific situation that caused the emotional eating. When you understand what leads you to emotional eating, you can work towards planning alternative coping strategies for the next time the same situation arises.

*Edited by Malia Frey, About.com Weight Loss Expert

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