Diary for weight loss is an app that allows you to track your calorie intake, your daily nutrition and keep a full diet journal. This app will help you lose the excess pounds while allowing you to stay on a ketogenic diet, low carb diet or any low calorie diet. Diaries are not something new in the market, there are many different apps for both iOS and Android devices.But what is different about this diary is that it does not require internet connection to function.
Why a Daily Food Diary Is Still the Ultimate Weight Loss Hack
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who are aiming to lose weight, the process can sometimes seem daunting.
From adopting a new diet by adding more nutritious items to your meals to finding an exercise regimen you’re comfortable with, figuring out a strategy to lose those extra pounds can sound like an overwhelming change in the way you live your day-to-day life.
However, new research suggests that self-monitoring what you eat might be the most effective part of any diet — and it takes less than 15 minutes each day to do it.
If you bite it, write it
The study, publishedTrusted Source in the journal Obesity, took a look at how 142 people self-monitored their diets through an online behavioral weight control program over a 6-month period.
Over the course of 24 weeks, they took part in a weekly online group session led by a trained dietitian. Through the program, the participants logged their daily food intake.
The most successful study participants were those who ended up losing 10 percent of their body weight, spending an average 23.2 minutes each day on self-monitoring in the first month of the study period.
By the study’s end at the 6-month mark, that average time had dropped down to 14.6 minutes.
“We were not surprised that frequent self-monitoring was related to weight loss success. We were surprised that 15 minutes a day is all that’s necessary,” lead author Jean Harvey, PhD, RD, chair of the Nutrition and Food Sciences Department at the University of Vermont, told Healthline.
Yes, on the surface, committing to just under 15 minutes to record and hold yourself accountable over what you’re consuming each day doesn’t sound like a lot, but Harvey said the act of self-monitoring can be daunting to people at first.
“Self-monitoring is a pain! You have to try to guess what foods in the database match the foods you have eaten — no small task when you go out to eat for example — you have to weigh and measure food if your estimate is to be accurate,” Harvey said. “You have to take the time to do it, and you have to admit to yourself that you’ve just eaten what you’ve eaten.”
Ali Webster, PhD, RD, associate director of Nutrition Communications at the International Food Information Council Foundation, told Healthline that many people are “afraid to face the reality of what we’re putting in our mouths.”
“It’s easier to dismiss the contribution that regular trips to the workplace candy stash or second helpings at dinner can have on our waistline if we’re not confronted with seeing it written on paper or tracked in our phones,” Webster, who was not affiliated with the study, told Healthline. “Many people also see monitoring the food we eat as ‘just another thing’ they have to think about during the day, or another task that chains them to their computers or their phones.”
Nevertheless, Webster said, this study shows that the time commitment required for this kind of self-monitoring is pretty minimal.
“We’d all be lying if we said we didn’t spend at least 15 minutes mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or Instagram every day,” she stressed. “Why not redirect some of that time toward a productive, healthy habit?”
Why does self-monitoring help? Harvey said that calorie counting is one of the effective strategies out there to manage your weight. She said that it is highly likely people who self-monitored in the study were more aware of just how much they consumed. As a result, they probably were more successful at sticking close to their initial “calorie goal.”
How keeping track keeps you on track
“Self-monitoring can be helpful for both positive reinforcement of making healthy choices and for reining in tendencies to indulge more often than is beneficial for weight or nutrition goals. Seeing healthy meal and snack decisions manifest themselves in improvements to our health is rewarding,” Webster explained. “And being able to say, ‘oh, I forgot that I had some candy after lunch today — maybe I can go easy on dessert tonight,’ is a clear way that having a written food record can lead to making healthier choices overall.”
In other words, self-monitoring allows us to see the good choices we’re making, quickly correct course when we indulge, and make smarter choices in the future.
A growing trend
Finding ways to manage diet and nutrition is gaining popularity.
It’s estimated that about 45 million people in the United States go on a diet each year, while Americans invest about $33 billion annually in buying weight loss products, according to Boston Medical Center.
These efforts to find the best weight loss approaches stand out starkly against the ever-rising obesity numbers among American adults.
More than 1 in 3 adults were said to have obesity, while about 1 in every 13 has “extreme obesity,” according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney DiseasesTrusted Source.
A study published in 2013 in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) showed that obesity accounts for 18 percent of deaths among Americans between 40 and 85 years old.
It’s easier than you may think
Do a quick Google search and you’ll find countless apps and products that aim to give people useful tools to record and measure their weight loss goals.
The sheer number may seem overwhelming at first, but how you choose to keep track of what you eat isn’t as important as the act itself.
Also, there isn’t a need to spend a lot of money on a fancy program. Several quality self-monitoring apps are available for free.
For instance, Lose It! is a free app for Apple and Android devices that gives users an easy way to track what they are consuming.
Fooducate is another free Apple and Android app that gives you the chance to look up exactly what is in the foods you eat on a regular basis. The app provides ratings for common items — “Tostitos Multigrain Scoops! Tortilla Chips” have a “B minus” on the app. Compare that to a Coca Cola soda, which has a dismal “D” rating on the app.
Harvey added that her research underscores the effectiveness of self-monitoring as a behavior that is “strongly related to weight loss success.”
She said that finding any way to monitor your food intake “will be helpful for weight loss and maintenance.”
Webster suggests that you do what feels most comfortable and easily applicable to your daily schedule.
“If you’re a person that hand-writes to-do lists or writes in a journal often, maybe a written form of self-monitoring is your style. You can easily jot things down in a plain-old notebook, and there are many different food journals or blank templates available in bookstores or online,” she said. “If you frequently use your phone, tablet, or computer for work or leisure, maybe having an app-based or online food tracking system will be most efficient.
“It’s important to find a system that you like and that you feel comfortable with. Otherwise, the desire to fall off the wagon will be that much stronger,” she added. “We often hear that the best form of exercise is ‘the one that you’ll actually do.’ Same goes for self-monitoring options.”
Can a Food Diary Help You Lose Weight?
Wondering how to keep a food journal? Here are 8 tips for making a food diary work for you.
What if just by making one change in your habits, you could double your weight loss? It may sound too good to be true, but many experts say that the simple act of keeping a food diary can encourage you to eat fewer calories — and thus lose weight.
Several studies have shown that people who keep food journals are more likely to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off. In fact, a researcher from one recent study says that people keeping a food diary six days a week lost about twice as much weight as those who kept food records one day a week or less. For the six-month study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, dieters kept food diaries, attended weekly group support meetings, and were encouraged to eat a healthy diet and be active.
How does writing down what you eat and drink in a food journal work this kind of magic?
For one thing, keeping a food diary instantly increases your awareness of what, how much, and why you are eating. This helps you cut down on mindless munching, says Megrette Fletcher, MEd, RD, executive director of The Center for Mindful Eating.
Food diaries also help people identify areas where they can make changes that will help them lose weight, says Victoria Catenacci, MD, assistant professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. For example, she says, “people don’t realize how many calories they are obtaining from caloric beverages and snacks, and these can be easy interventions … that can help reduce calories.”
Sherrie Delinsky, PhD, a staff psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, says food diaries can unveil patterns of overeating. They can also reveal identify triggers to avoid, such as not eating enough throughout the day and then overeating at night, or overeating when drinking alcohol.
For some people, the very fact that they have to record every bite helps deter overeating, Delinsky says. Her clients “often reconsider eating something because of not wanting to write it down,” she says.
Steps for Food Diary Success
Here are some tips from the experts on how to make a food diary work for you.
Food Diary Tip No. 1:Know Your Reasons
If you know what you hope to gain from your food diary, you can make sure you’re recording the type of information that will help you in that area. Fletcher advises people to be clear about their intent, whether it’s to become aware of hidden food triggers, notice problematic eating patterns, or just make sure they’re eating a healthy diet.
Food Diary Tip No. 2: Choose Your Format
Kerri Anne Hawkins, MS, RD, a dietitian with Tufts Medical Center’s Obesity Consultation Center, uses several types of food diary forms for her patients. She tells them to fill out just what works for them; they can even create their own system, like using sticky notes.
“The basic elements I would recommend including, however, would be time, food, amount/portion size and degree of hunger,” says Hawkins.
Rebecca Puhl, PhD, director of research at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, also suggests including the location of the meal: “These details will provide insight into emotional triggers for eating habits, as well as times of day and places where healthy and unhealthy foods are most likely to be consumed.”
If you’re trying to understand how your emotions relate to your food choices, you might also want to include questions in your diary such as, “How hungry am I?” or “What were my emotions before, during and after the eating episode?”
Keeping track of carbs, fat, and fiber grams will be helpful for people with diabetes and other medical conditions. If you have type 2 diabetes, you might find, for example, that meals high in carbohydrates or meals high in saturated fat may cause you trouble. Or you might discover that your blood sugar levels improve when your meal or snack contains a certain amount of fiber.
Write down other items you think are important, such as how you felt (physically and emotionally) when you finished eating, what and how much exercise you got that day, any medication you took, and your blood sugar results, if you have diabetes.
Food Diary Tip No. 3: Decide How Often to Update
You should write in your food diary at least 5 days a week — but filling it out every day is best, says Catenacci.
You can fill out your food diary as you go throughout the day, or set some time aside at the end of the day to update it. But experts say your record will be more accurate if you do it right after eating. They also say it’s important to record everything – even if that seems painful.
“It can be tempting to avoid recording an unplanned indulgent dessert or binge episode, but this is the most important time to record,” Puhl says.
Something to watch out for: As time goes on, dieters tend to become more lax about how often they update their food diaries and go longer after eating or drinking before logging the information.
Food Diary Tip No. 4: Decide How Detailed You Want to Be
If you just can’t bring yourself to fill out a detailed food diary form each day, that’s OK. Just writing a minimum amount of information in your food diary will help you self-monitor. Hawkins says many of her patients believe that if they do not keep a “perfect” food log with every detail, they have failed. She tells them that every attempt they make at recording gets them a step closer to paying attention to their food choices and habits.
Food Diary Tip No. 5: Be Accurate About Portion Sizes
If you’re just trying to get a general idea of what, when, and why you are eating, this tip may not apply to you. But if you want to get a precise picture of your intake, make sure the amounts you record in your diary are as accurate as possible, Catenacci says. Measuring out your portions can help give you a picture of what a normal serving size looks like. Kim Gorman, MS, RD, director of the Weight Management Program at the University of Colorado, Denver, advises her clients to measure portions regularly at first, and then on occasion after that.
Food Diary Tip No. 6: Include the ‘Extras’ that Add Up
The more thorough you are when recording what you eat — that handful of M&Ms at the office, the mayo on your sandwich, the sauce on your entree — the more ways you’ll eventually find to cut those extra calories. When you look back over your food diary records, look for those nibbles and bites that can really add up. Did you know that 150 extra calories in a day (that could be one alcoholic drink or a slather of spread on your bread) could result in a 15- to 18-pound weight gain in one year?
USING A BULLET JOURNAL TO WORK TOWARDS GOALS
As with all your goals. Once you have that specific and realistic goal. Break it down.
I always break my goals into actionable steps and trackable things that I can mark off as I move towards my goal. Each time I get to tick something, even small that’s part of my goal I feel super accomplished and it keeps me motivated.
Make sure you put all those actionable steps in your planner or journal. With dates and when you want to accomplish them by.
Before I show you some of the best health spreads for bullet journals, it is super important to become really clear on your goal.
Setting a specific and SMART goal is the first step in making those dreams happen.
Head over to my post on “How To Set Goals With A Bullet Journal” for more help with your goal setting.
HOW TO SET FITNESS AND HEALTH GOALS
Once you have your SMART goal it’s a great idea to set up to succeed. This means making sure you have everything in place that is going to help you make those big dreams come true.
And I don’t mean that you need to spend hundreds of dollars on a gym membership and fancy gym gear.
Have a serious think about what is realistic for you… and also what you enjoy. The key to making your goals happen is to be realistic and to follow your joy. If you don’t enjoy something, you won’t stick to it.
For example, if you need to move more to make your goal happen, think about what fun things you can do to make that happen. Getting a Fitbit to count steps and walking with friends. Or sign up for that Latin Dance class with your partner.
I am working on my fitness goal journal pages to make those big health dreams come true. See below.
My goal is to improve my overall health and fitness so I broke it into smaller goals.
For this month I am going to achieve the following:
- Move my body every day: walks, dance, a game with the kids, etc.
- Reach 10k steps a day: I recommend getting a step counter.
- Drink 8 glasses of water daily.
- Practice self-care: something nice I do for myself.
- Meal plan and prep for the week.
To accomplish that I have come up with actionable steps so I can track them.
Here is an example of my own personal weight loss and fitness journal.
I hope my fitness bullet journal can inspire you to use your bujo for better health too.
Below I have some more great ideas to help you work towards specific health and fitness goals and make your own DIY weight loss journal.
HOW TO MAKE A WEIGHT LOSS JOURNAL
Just saying “I want to get fit” isn’t going to be a useful goal. Instead, have a specific goal then break it down into those important and trackable actions!
Using personalized trackers to suit your goals and steps will help you reach your fitness goals faster!
There are some easy fitness and weight loss journal ideas that can get you started and help you set a bullet journal for weight loss goals.
- Bullet Journal Meal Plan
The first thing you should have is a meal plan!
It’s a great way to help you make great choices for what to eat and take away those last-minute grocery store shop temptations.
Being organized with your meals also frees up time. You can use this to do other things towards your goals, like a quick home workout.
- Habit Trackers for Weight loss
There are a few things I personally track when I am trying to lose weight but these will, of course, be unique to you.
I find that I am an emotional eater ( chocolate and ice cream all the way if I am feeling a little low). So for me, a Mood Tracker is really helpful to see any patterns with my moods. I can then find a way to help plan ahead and stop the emotional eating.
- Weight Tracker Bullet Journal
Writing down your weight with dates is a really important step if you are trying to lose pounds.
Of course, it’s not all about weight but about measurements too. I would suggest you keep track of both.
You will sometimes find, especially if you are exercising that you will not see much difference on the scales but will notice big changes in your measurements.
Here are some weight loss trackers for inspiration.
Such a pretty weight loss tracker journal By Little Coffee Fox.
Adding things like measurements are fantastic weight loss tracker ideas By @craftyenginerd
- Water Tracker
Making sure you drink enough water is not only beneficial for your health but it can really help with weight loss.
Make sure you add a water tracker to your bullet journal spreads
Other ideas which you could add are a calorie tracker, sleep tracker, sugar intake counter and lots more.
- Step Counter For Bullet Journal
One of the easiest ways to get moving is to count your steps! Make it easy to know how you are going by adding a step tracker into your journal. Be sure to add a step counter app to your phone or get a Fitbit so you know just how many steps you do each day.
- Exercise Log
An exercise log or bullet journal fitness tracker can be easily personalized to fit your goals and action steps. Make sure you log all those important numbers and details so you can see your progress towards your goal clearly.
There are plenty of fitness challenges you can join along with or even make up your own.
It’s a fun and actionable way to reach your fitness goals. You could do a 30 Abs Challange, distance run challenge, or anything else that you can break down to get to your big goal.
So, what are your fitness and health goals? I would love to hear all about them and see how you use your bullet journal to achieve them.
Send through images of your weight loss journal pages for our community to see.