How do I Choose the Best Weight Loss Journal?

B. Miller

A weight loss journal can be a handy tool for keeping track of your eating habits, exercise programs, and weight loss goals. There are many different weight loss journals to be found in stores or online; a weight loss journal may also be kept on the computer, which may make entering specific data easier, particularly if you want to create charts to track progress. Of course, a simple notebook can also function just as well as a designated journal for weight loss.

Some people use a journal to keep track of their weight loss efforts and goals.
Some people use a journal to keep track of their weight loss efforts and goals.

If you want to take your weight loss journal with you everywhere you go, be sure to choose one that is small enough to fit in a pocket or purse. It may be a good idea to take the journal with you, especially if you are recording everything you eat. This way, you can write down what you eat as soon as you do so, and you won't forget to do it later.

A weight loss journal might contain tips for losing weight.
A weight loss journal might contain tips for losing weight.

Check the pages of a weight loss journal to see if there are designated spaces for writing in your weight for the day, the amount of time spent exercising, the foods eaten, and any other information. A journal that has these designated spaces on its pages is often easier to fill in quickly, and can then be referenced at a glance without needing to read through longer entries.

Some weight loss journals may provide additional tips for eating healthy, losing weight, and enjoying a healthy lifestyle. You might choose to look for a weight loss journal with these helpful tips in it. Others are custom designed to follow a specific diet plan. In general, it is best to choose a journal where the pages are not pre-dated; this way it is not a problem if you skip a day. Some people find, however, that dated pages encourages them to write in the journal every day.

If you want space to write actual journal entries in the journal, consider this as well. Some people consider journalling to be a helpful tool when trying to lose weight, because it can help them to discover their motivations for eating. In other cases, the weight loss journal may be used in conjunction with a doctor or nutritionist; the doctor can then review the journal, and make suggestions for changes that can be made to the diet or exercise plan. It is important to choose a journal you will actually use, otherwise it defeats the entire purpose of having the journal at all.

Food and calories consumed as well as exercises completed can be kept in a weight loss journal.
Food and calories consumed as well as exercises completed can be kept in a weight loss journal.

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Discussion Comments

croydon

@pastanaga - I can never remember to use one, to be honest. I'm always signing up for free online weight loss journals, or attempting to start one in my own notebooks, but they never end up with more than a couple of days worth of entries.

I pretty much had to just tell myself to stop starting them because I'd get discouraged every time I failed.

pastanaga

@clintflint - I can understand that, but I find that a journal for weight loss can help if you use it the right way. If you are sensible about your daily calorie needs, you can just aim for that number and not get too worried about how you get there.

I just find it so useful to know that I need to go for an extra walk in the evening, rather than guessing and trying to recall exactly what I've eaten.

clintflint

I usually just create one in Excel, since I can never seem to find one that's simple enough for me, but still has space for all the things I want to record each day. With Excel I can usually graph the numbers quite easily as well, which is handy.

I try not to use a journal too fanatically though, as I find that healthy weight loss is something that I need to not focus on too much. I get obsessed with every calorie and it takes over my life if I give it too much importance.

I find I'm better off just attempting to stick to healthy foods, without measuring what actually goes into my mouth.

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