Can Food Journaling Really Help You Lose Weight?

Q: Can food journaling really help me lose weight? I despise it and never seem to stick with it.

A: You know I hate to be the bearer of bad news. Of any kind. But, this bad news (for all of you despisers out there) isn’t too bad. You may even turn into food journaling lovers by the end of this blog.

Food journaling can be your weight loss secret weapon for a whole lotta reasons, and it’s been around since, well, forever, for good reason: it works.

So just like you may not love flossing routinely, you do it because it’s good for you and you want a pretty smile too.

Need more specific reasons than that to break out a new food diary? Here ya go.

3 Reasons Why Food Journaling Can Help You Lose Weight

Accountability.Whether it’s a drill sergeant friend, your nutritionist or simply your sturdy Ticonderoga pencil keeping tabs on what goes in your mouth, accountability works.

Food journaling is definitely one way to be accountable either to yourself or to whoever is reading them.

One study showed that keeping a food journal doubled a person’s weight loss. It found that the best predictors of weight loss were 1) how frequently food diaries were kept and 2) how many support sessions the participants attended.

Those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records at all.

Another study showed that the more food journals people kept, the more weight people lost.

So basically those that maintained focus, diligence, and consistency with journaling were rewarded with fitting into smaller pants.

Also, if you’re working with a dietitian or health coach, you’ll get a lot more out of that partnership if you’re sharing all your food deets. The good, the bad and the in between. Putting it all out there will help your nutrition guru help you.

Food journaling can be kinda like getting a new gym membership and a fresh pair of kicks…you’re all excited to use them for the first few weeks, but when the novelty wears off, often so does your motivation and consistency.

You gotta find a way to get comfy in your new kicks, even after they’re not new anymore, and realize that the more they get broken in, the better you might look in your LuLus.

Honesty. Always a good thing, right? Food journaling keeps you honest – even if it’s just with yourself.

When I ask clients about a typical a day of eating, I often get this for an answer:

I eat really well, not sure why I’m not losing. I eat a couple eggs for breakfast with a slice of whole grain toast, a kale salad, usually a few nuts for a snack and pretty balanced dinner of some kind of protein and usually a little rice or potato and a salad.”

When I have them write down every detail, and I mean every detail, it goes something like this:

Two eggs prepared with butter and a drop of cheese. Slice of toast and two bites of my son’s waffle. Kale salad with dressing and parmesan cheese (I usually skip the cheese though), croutons and chicken. Three handfuls of nuts, diet soda and three bites of my daughters chocolate chip cookie (it was her friend’s birthday)…

You get where this is going.

It’s easy to think you eat super clean but until you really hammer it out on paper, you often unintentionally don’t even realize just how much (or in some cases how little) you’re eating.

Honesty and food journaling is always the best policy. Besides, your waistline is terrible at keeping secrets.

Growth.Growth in all areas of life is always good idea. When it comes to weight loss, health, and food journaling, food journaling can be a wise sage that guides us in a new right direction.

Food journaling allows us to reflect and analyze. What worked? What didn’t work? And, finally, how can I improve what I’m eating or the behaviors and habits I’m exhausting?

There will come a day when you’ve nailed your diet and you don’t have to spend time food journaling anymore. That’s the ultimate goal, right?

But there also may come a day when you need to go back to basics and clean things up again, and food journaling is the first thing you should turn to.

It’ll be like riding a bicycle. It’ll feel familiar and easy even if it’s been a long time, and you’ll quickly remember how great it feels to have that wind in your hair…in a smaller pair of shorts.

The Fastest Way to Lose Weight This Week

You’re searching high and low for the fastest way to lose weight this week. You’re in a panic. You’re stressing. You’re kicking yourself for eating pizza over the weekend and missing your Sunday morning hot yoga class because you were hungover.

 

Whether it’s for a date with the hot new guy at the office (our lips are sealed), your best friend’s birthday bash in Vegas, that tropical vacation you’ve been waiting on for months, or you just want to jumpstart your weight loss plan, you need to drop a few pounds stat.

 

We’ve all been there.

 

If you want to look amazing in your LBD but the zipper is wayyyy tight and your favorite jeans aren’t sit-downable at the moment, read on for the fastest way to lose weight in a jiffy.

 

And no, starving yourself is not the answer.

 

The Fastest Way to Lose Weight This Week

 

1. Eat Empowered

Eat real food. Often.  Stop worrying about what extreme diet you need to start, stop counting calories and start thinking about the real food you’re going to eat.

 

Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and at least one snack a day (no skipping meals!) consisting of whole, real foods.

 

I’m talking loads of veggies, lean protein such as grass fed steak, chicken, fish and eggs and healthy fats as in cashews, pecans, olives, avocado and coconut. Ditch the packaged and processed foods – especially anything that includes added sugar.

 

If you need an exact plan, I’ve got you covered here.

 

Begin your day with breakfast and eat every few hours or when you feel slightly hungry and stop when you feel slightly satisfied. Not sure what that feels like? Check out this hack.

 

Eating real food combined with listening to your body is your new winning combo.

 

Fact: Eating real food makes you feel better and that alone can make you look better. If you’re skimping on nutrients or need a way to boost your protein check out our Nutritious Life developed green powder and vegan protein powder. It’s the fastest way to up your nutrition game.

 

2. Sweat Often

Get 45 minutes of movement in – every day this week. I’m a fan of mixing up exercise and getting in HIIT workouts one day, long bouts of cardio or a hike on another and pilates and yoga on other days.

 

But, most of all I’m a fan of being consistent with exercising and moving, in whatever way, shape or form makes you feel your best.

 

The fastest way to lose weight means sticking with whatever movement makes you feel good. When you feel good you’re more likely to be consistent. Also, when you feel you good, you eat well and you sleep well which, guess what…helps you eat well again. This is what a Nutritious Life is all about.

 

This week, I want you focused on being consistent with your exercise and doing it daily. You don’t even need to hit a gym to get it in, here’s a quickie workout I do just about anywhere.  

 

5 mile run sound good? Do it. Spin class right up your alley? Get that in. Hike in the hills all you want to do? Go for it.

 

Fact: Yes, you’ll shed pounds by burning calories when you exercise, but exercising also increases blood flow which helps with circulation and gives your skin a healthy glow. Exercise can also help reduce stress which will help you sleep better, both of which are needed to calm your nerves.

 

3.      Sleep Deep

Aim for 8 hours a night, settle for no less than 7.  For some reason sleep is still one of those things that we give up to fit everything else into our busy schedules.

 

Many of us still feel like we should get a gold star when we triumphantly go without sleep to log more hours at a bar chatting it up with friends or burning the midnight oil at our desk. Unfortunately, no medals awarded here.

 

Sleep should be a top priority. It’s right up there with what we put into our bodies, especially when we want to be looking and feeling our best.

 

This week practice good sleep hygiene by picking a bed time and sticking to it and allowing yourself 15 minutes of winding down time before your head hits the pillow.

 

Fact:  They don’t call it “beauty sleep” for nothing. While we sleep, our body’s natural antioxidant melatonin, a sleep hormone, fights off free radical invaders. If you’re not getting enough sleep at night, you’re reducing the amount of time that melatonin gets to fight off wrinkles and those bags under your eyes will only get worse.  

 

By getting enough sleep at night, you not only look and feel well-rested, but your immune system will be strengthened.

 

4.      Drink Up

Drink 8 glasses of water and 2 cups of green tea a day. For two days before your special occasion, drink a cup of dandelion root tea as well. Trust me, this one is important. Being properly hydrated is linked to metabolism, energy and skin health.

 

Fact: Sounds counterintuitive, right?  But by drinking water throughout the day, you reduce bloating, flush out toxins, hydrate your skin to achieve a healthy glow, and keep your digestive organs in good working order.  

 

Green tea has been shown to boost metabolism and dandelion tea will help flush you out, further reducing toxins and any bloating.

 

5. Nurture Yourself

Cleanse! No time or money to book that expensive facial? Have no fear, your DIY cleanser is here.

 

Give this easy homemade cleanser and mask a try and you’ll almost be able to feel the antioxidants and nutrients seep into your skin making it soft, smooth, and younger looking. Don’t forget to moisturize twice daily.

 

Pink Dairy Cleanser: Each day this week, use this quick and easy cleanser by mixing 2 teaspoons milk, 2 teaspoons pink grapefruit juice with pulp, and 2 teaspoons Greek plain yogurt or sour cream until smooth.

 

Soothing Green and White Mask: 7 days and 4 days before the big day puree ¼ can white beans and 5 cucumber slices in a food processor until smooth.  Gently massage the mask onto your face and let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing off.

 

Fact: Pink Dairy Cleanser – the yogurt will gently exfoliate and stimulate collagen, to help firm your skin.  The pink grapefruit will protect your skin from sun damage and the formation of free radicals.  Soothing Green and White Mask – This refreshing mask will help sooth redness and inflammation and leave your skin feeling serene.