Does Keeping A Food Journal Really Help You Lose Weight?
Compiled by Narina Excelby; Photograph by Zach Desart
You’ve heard that scribbling away in a food journal is one of the keys to weight loss.
The Nitty Gritty
It’s not a myth! Research has shown that keeping a record of what, where, how much and when you eat does indeed help you to lose weight. “Keeping track of what you’re eating forces you to be honest about the foods you’ve chosen and your quantities, as well as making you think twice about what you eat before it lands up in your mouth,” says Joburg-based dietician Lila Bruk. When it’s written down, it’s easier to see where – and when – you’re taking in extra kilojoules. “Keeping a food journal is often helpful for those who feel that they’ve been eating healthily, lowering their energy intake and still not losing weight,” says dietitian Celeste Naudé. “It also makes it easier to pinpoint stress eating or overeating.”
This doesn’t mean walking around nose-to-notebook all day; download an app if paper isn’t your game, or just start a note in your phone’s notebook. Make sure you also record how you’re feeling when you eat, like scooping ice cream after a fight with your partner.
Looking for more info on keeping a food journal? If you’re tracking your meals, here are four journaling mistakes to avoid.