If you’re on a mission to lose weight, one thing you’ll want to sure you have time to do is keep a weekly food diary. Now, you might immediately grumble, thinking it’s just too much work and not that you have the time.
If you use a meal planning app like Meta Nutrition, you can easily use the journal feature which will help ensure you see results. What’s more important than that after all? Adding a few minutes to your day for tracking each week is certainly worth the results you’re likely to get from your weight loss journey.
Several studies have shown that people who keep food journals are more likely to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off. One study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine noted that of the 1,685 overweight or obese people studied for a six month time period, the most powerful predictor of whether or not they lost weight was how many days they use their journal to record their food intake(1).
Another study that was published by the Kaiser Center for Health and Research in Portland, Oregon noted that of the 1,700 people participating in the study, those who kept a food diary for six months lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t journal their meals(2).
What makes keeping a journal so powerful you ask? We are going to look at some of the top reasons why this is the case and go through how to successfully use the journal on the Meta Nutrition app.
Heightened Attention to What You’re Eating
When you need to write down what you are going to eat, you might reconsider having that late night snack or extra piece of pizza. When you are more aware of what you are eating it will help you skyrocket your rate of success.
When it comes down to it, a food journal is a great tool for helping to hold yourself accountable. It will be a constant reminder that if you have a goal you should be eating towards that and making healthier choices.
Once you really establish your journal and get in a rhythm you’ll find yourself not wanting to mess up your streak and throw off your healthy eating habits.
Track Trends and Bodily Changes
Another reason why keeping a food journal can be a powerful tool is because it’ll let you see the trend of how you progress through your weight loss journey. Your body is unique and you may find that seeing exactly what you are eating that gives you positive results is something you need or want to maintain to a ‘T’. If you’ve been crushing it after consuming a specific ratio of macronutrients you’ll want to take close note of that and use it to help you build on your plan moving forward.
From there you can start to tinker and see how your body reacts. If something isn’t working out you can revert to your baseline plan and similarly, you can easily expand on your baseline if you find that some small changes have been helping you in the process.
Without a journal, it will be hard for you to remember and hone in on exactly what you need to be doing and how you body responded to all your nutritional choices in the past.
Learn Your Food Intolerances
You may have noticed throughout your life that you don’t particularly respond well to certain foods and you haven’t gotten it formally diagnosed. Keeping a food journal can act as a first step towards properly identifying the foods that may be causing you discomfort. Meta Nutrition currently doesn’t allow for you to report how you feel after each meal but that functionality is coming soon, so keep your eye out for that. In the meantime, it would be beneficial for you to write down those feelings on a piece of paper or in your phone notes. Naturally, this might help you pinpoint the foods that have been causing you to feel bloated, gassy.
You aren’t only looking out for bad foods, you can also help pinpoint foods that make you feel good, energized, and won’t leave you with irritating bloat.
Possible Setbacks with Journaling and Tracking
There is no getting around the fact that there will be a learning curve until you get your flow down and the time you will need to commit to doing it properly. Many of you out there can hardly get around to planning and prepping with everything going on let alone journaling all of those foods and documenting how it makes you feel.
Luckily, as I’ve mentioned throughout the blog, there are solutions out there. You can use apps such as Meta Nutrition which will provide you with these tools for free, you’ll be told exactly what you should be eating to achieve your weight loss goals and it also doubles as a journal plus so much more.
Another challenge you might find yourself facing is figuring out exactly what macros and calories in addition to foods you should be eating. You can get by simply writing down the foods you are eating and getting a rough estimate of calories plus macros but to see the most success you should be including as much detail as possible
Always remember you are doing this for yourself and the more information you write down and document for yourself the better off your journey will be.
Once again, Meta Nutrition will eliminate that issue because we provide you with automatic tracking and calorie + macro information of everything you are eating.
As you can see time is going to be the biggest hindrance to getting everything done that we just laid out, so having a platform like Meta Nutrition will significantly reduce the time you need to commit to this endeavor and increase your chances of losing weight quickly and keeping it off for longer.
You want to make sure your hard work doesn’t go to waste and by following these tips you should get the results you want and maintain them for years to come.
1. Hollis, J. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, August 2008; vol 35.
2. Kaiser Permanente Study Finds Keeping a Food Diary Doubles Diet Weight Loss.