Journaling Your Way Thin

28 Oct

Besides exercise, the most important element that contributed to my weight loss success was keeping an online food journal. It’s tedious at times and a pain, but it really changes the way you think about food and portions. It keeps you on track, even on the days when you splurge and go over. Plus, I found that it was the best diet for me in that I never felt starved or deprived. I could still eat my favorite foods, just a lot smaller portions.

I used http://www.my-calorie-counter.com, which is a free online food journal. Sparkpeople.com also offers a free journal. Without dieting, record your food intake for a week. See how many calories you average in a day just eating your normal patterns. The following week, cut 500 calories per day from your overall daily average number. So if on average you were eating 2500 calories a day, the next week eat 2000.

This method allows you to lose about 1 pound a week, which is the best way to do it. Experts recommend only losing 1 – 2 pounds a week as this increases your chances of keeping it off longer as well as it allows your body to adjust to the loss. Pulling huge numbers like 20 pounds in a single week like on Biggest Loser leaves you with excess skin and your body doesn’t know how to process the loss. You are much more likely to put it back on and at a rapid pace.

If you’re going out to eat, look up the nutrition information before you go. Plot out exactly what you’re going to order and how many calories it is. This way when you arrive at the restaurant, you have the mindset of what you’re ordering and you will be less likely to splurge on a high calorie meal. You can still go out and enjoy restaurant food with your pals, but make wiser choices.

Finally, I give myself a splurge day a week. I still keep track of the calories in my journal and I try to make sure I work out that day in return. But this is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change and some days you’re going to eat a lot of pizza. It’s fine as long as you don’t let it escalate beyond a single meal and you are active that day. Get right back on track the next time you eat. 🙂

Good luck!

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2 Responses to “Journaling Your Way Thin”

  1. skinniejeans November 8, 2010 at 8:08 AM #

    Very well written! I especially love the comment that “this is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change and some days you’re going to eat a lot of pizza”. Just started my diet today and want to start referring to it as a lifestyle change instead of a “diet”.

    • Noel D. November 8, 2010 at 6:25 PM #

      Good luck with your lifestyle change. 🙂 🙂 You’ll do great. If you start to feel discouraged or have questions, feel free to post! I try to read all the comments and reply as much as I can. Maybe you can be one of my first success stories posted! 🙂

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