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Your weight-loss journal is a pivotal tool for your weight management journey. According to the American Psychological Association, your journey should include the following elements to change unhealthy eating behaviors and thought patterrns:

Monitor your behaviors. Write down what you eat, think, and do including where you are each day.

Track your activity level. Write down how much you exercise and are moble. Tip: Use a pedometer to track the number of steps you take each day.

Eat regular meals. “Patients often skip breakfast with the thought they are reducing calories or can “save up” calories for later. But skipping meals can slow your metabolism, make you prone to later eating binges and have a negative effect on your health” APA.

Practice “mindful” eating. Pay attention to whether you are really hungry – then eat.

Understand the things you associate with food. Behaviors are habitual and learned. People sometimes associate eating with certain emotions, experiences or daily activities and behaviors. “For example, if you typically eat while watching TV your brain has made an association between food and TV. You may not be hungry, but in your mind TV and eating are paired together. So when you watch TV you suddenly feel the urge to eat. You can begin to break this association by not eating while watching TV” APA.

Identify your emotions. What is happening emotionally while you are snacking, overeating or choosing unhealthy foods? Are you bored, sad, or stressed? Do not confuse physiological hunger with psychological emotion.

Modify your unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. Address negative feelings about weight-loss. Reward healthy changes to your eating habits.

For more detailed descriptions of the above elements, read the full article from the APA.

My Phone Food Diary

Keep a daily food diary memo on your phone or other mobile device. Record your exercise, meals and snacks. This will serve as as a summary of your daily food jounal. Take notes if you have time. Later, you can transfer your food diary memo information to your daily weight-loss journal.

Next is a sample food diary memo that I keep on my phone. Each day, I update the day and time information. Throughout the day, I take simple notes about my exercise, food, drinks, and how my body is changing.

Each time I record a meal or a snack, I update the last two lines of the memo, which are a cumulative total of how many calories I have consumed and how many calories are remaining in my daily goal calorie intake limit.

——————— MEMO FOR MAY 18, 2020 ———————

My Daily Food Diary – Day 2

This is my actual food diary memo from Monday, May 18, 2020.

My Goal Calorie Intake Range For Week 1: 1,500 – 2,500 calories / day. This is about 2,000 calories less than I normally consumed eating out most of the time. This first week, I just want to start reducing my calories without feeling like it’s impossible.

Record staring weight at waking: 270 lbs

AM Notes: This is where I keep my daily morning reminders.

  • Take morning meds
  • Today’s work schedule: 8:45 am to 5:40 pm

Monday Exercise – walking around at  work. Today I worked from 8:45 am to 5:40 pm (better than going to the gym – I’m getting paid to workout!)

Monday Breakfast at 8:55 am

  • 1/2 Liter Mango juice – 50 calories
  • Total Breakfast calories = 50

Monday Morning Break / Snack at 11:51 am

  • Strawberry Cinnamon roll – 210 calories
  • 1/4 Liter Mango juice – 25 calories
  • Total am Break calories = 235

Monday Lunch at 1:37 pm

  • 1 Rice Roll – 40 calories
  • 4 Sugar free Vanilla Wafers – 180 calories
  • 1/4 Liter Mango juice – 25 calories
  • Total Lunch calories = 245

Monday Afternoon Break / Snack at 4:48 pm

  • 25 oz Cran Apple juice – 100 calories
  • Total Afternoon Break calories = 100

Monday Dinner at 6 pm

  • Large Fries only from McDonald’s – 510 calories.
  • 4 mini powdered donuts – 210 calories
  • Total Dinner calories = 720

Monday After Dinner Break / Snack 8:00 pm

  • 1/4 Liter Mango juice – 25 calories
  • Bacon Cheddar Chips – 840 calories
  • Total pm Break calories = 865

Total Calories Consumed: 50 + 235 + 245 + 100 + 720 + 865 = 1,970

2,500 – 1,970 = 530 calories remain as of 8:00 pm

Record Weight at Bedtime:

Record Today’s Weight Loss / Gain

PM Notes: Here I record important details that I want to remember to include in my daily weight-loss journal.

  • Take night meds
  • Tomorrow’s work schedule: 8:45 am to 5:40 pm
  • Set alarm for tomorrow morning

——————— END ———————

At the end of each day, I copy the full memo text and paste it into my Facebook based ongoing weight-loss discussion. This is a good way to chronicle your weight-loss journey and stay accountable for your goals since you will be sharing your daily life. From here you can complete your daily weight-loss journal.

My Psych Teacher Daily Weight-Loss Journal Template

How to Use This Template

  1. Copy the template text.
  2. Paste the template text into your blog or other document.
  3. Full in your name and today’s date.
  4. Complete blank sections by journaling about the topic.
  5. Journal about everything that you eat and drink throughout the day. Include time of day, calorie counts, and environmental details. Describe where you were and what you were doing while you were eating full meals and when you were snacking.
  6. Journal about any physical exercise that you do during the day.
  7. Journal about any spiritual or mental activities that you do during the day.
  8. At the end of the day, complete the Daily Reflection & Goal Setting section.

Journal Header

My Name: __________________________________________

Today’s Date: __________________________________________

My current weight: __________________________________________

My goal weight: __________________________________________

Food and Drink

For Breakfast I Ate and Drank…

Journal about everything that you eat and drink for breakfast. Include time of day, calorie counts, and environmental details. Describe where you are and what you are doing while you are eating breakfast.

  1. Food Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________
  2. Food Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________
  3. Food Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________
  4. Food Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________
  5. Drink Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________
  6. Drink Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________

Total Breakfast Calories: __________

 

 

 

For My Morning Snack I Ate and Drank…

Journal about everything that you eat and drink at your morning snack time. Include time of day, calorie counts, and environmental details. Describe where you are and what you are doing while you are eating your morning snack.

  1. Snack Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________
  2. Snack Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________
  3. Drink Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________

Total Morning Snack Calories: __________

 

 

 

For Lunch I Ate and Drank…

Journal about everything that you eat and drink for lunch. Include time of day, calorie counts, and environmental details. Describe where you are and what you are doing while you are eating lunch.

  1. Food Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________
  2. Food Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________
  3. Food Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________
  4. Food Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________
  5. Drink Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________
  6. Drink Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________

Total Lunch Calories: __________

 

 

 

For My Afternoon Snack I Ate and Drank…

Journal about everything that you eat and drink at your afternoon snack time. Include time of day, calorie counts, and environmental details. Describe where you are and what you are doing while you are eating your afternoon snack.

  1. Snack Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________
  2. Snack Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________
  3. Drink Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________

Total Afternoon Snack Calories: __________

 

 

 

For Dinner I Ate and Drank…

Journal about everything that you eat and drink for dinner. Include time of day, calorie counts, and environmental details. Describe where you are and what you are doing while you are eating dinner.

  1. Food Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________
  2. Food Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________
  3. Food Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________
  4. Food Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________
  5. Drink Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________
  6. Drink Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________

Total Dinner Calories: __________

 

 

 

For My Bedtime Snack I Ate and Drank…

Journal about everything that you eat and drink before bedtime. Include time of day, calorie counts, and environmental details. Describe where you are and what you are doing while you are eating your bedtime snack.

  1. Snack Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________
  2. Snack Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________
  3. Drink Consumed: ________________________    Calories: __________

Total  Bedtime Snack Calories: __________

 

 

Exercise Log

Journal about any physical exercise that you do during the day. Use a pedometer to track your steps and calories burned. Describe types of exercise such as sit-ups or jumping jacks and how many repetitions you completed. For how long did you engage in exercise?

 

 

 

Mental and Spiritual Activities Log

Journal about any mental and spiritual activities that you do during the day. Describe the types of activities such as reading and meditation and  when / for how long you engaged in them.

 

 

 

Daily Reflection & Goal Setting

At the end of the day, complete this section. Journal about your weight-loss progress.

How does your body feel?

Did you have regular, excessive, or fewer than usual restroom breaks? Did you have regular bowel movements? Were you short of breath?

 

 

 

How is your mental health?

Did you fall back into old habits? If so, how did you recover? What did you learn? What kind of things did you say to yourself to stay motivated?

 

 

 

Did you reach your goals?

Were you on track today? Set a goal of surpassing today’s progress. Journal about this short-term goal. How does this short-term goal compare to the goals you set at the beginning of this course?

 

 

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