The next time you are in Walgreens or CVS head to the back of the store and grab a $0.99 pocket notebook. ItÂ mightÂ turn out toÂ be the best $0.99 you have ever spent. Several studies have shown thatÂ keeping a food log is an easy and cost effective way to turbo charge your weight loss.Â
Researchers from Kaiser Permanente Center for Health ResearchÂ trackedÂ over 2,000 dieters who logged their food. They foundÂ that keeping a food log was the strongest factor in determiningÂ if aÂ dieterÂ lost weight. The study also showed that the amount of weight lost was proportional to the number of log entries. A study done by The American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that keeping a food log can actually double a your Â weight loss.
Depending on your goals, your journal can be a few simple notes orÂ very detailed.Â Do you have high blood pressure and need to track your sodium intake? Are you a vegetarian and need to ensure you are consuming enough protein?Â Are you getting enough fruit and vegetables?Â Your log is also a great place to track your exerciseÂ and even water intake.
Keeping track of your emotions is an effective way to identify triggers that cause you to overeat or make unhealthy choices. If you ate three pieces of cake, ask yourself why and write it down.Â How did you feel before?Â Were you tired, bored or angry?Â How did you feel after, both physically and emotionally?
Two of the most important things to track are calories and meal times.Â If you have been around me for more than 5 minutes then you already know that losing weight isÂ mainly about calories in vs. calories out.Â If you do not know how many calories you areÂ taking inÂ than how do you know you are burning enough to lose weight?Â Meal times play a crucial role in controlling blood sugar levels, cravings and portion sizes. People who skip meals are more likely to overeat during their next meal/snack.
Most of us either underestimate or overestimate the amount of calories that we take in each day.Â Doing either can force your weight loss to come to a grinding halt.Â Small nibbles, sips and samples of various foods/drinks during the day can add up in a hurry.Â On theÂ other side, not eating enough can cause your body to hold onto fat and burn precious muscle instead.Â
As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
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