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Food Journaling Works

I have always thought that keeping a food journal was a great way to lose weight. Yes, it might seem a bit obsessive to write down everything you consume, but it sure will make you accountable for the calories you consume.

A new study by Kaiser Permanente backs up my theory. They found that participants who kept food journals lost more weight than those who did not. The dieters who wrote down everything they ate or drank six days a week (even food journaling demands a day off) lost twice as much weight as the dieters who only tracked their food only one day a week.

It you are trying to lose weight, try my printable food journal. Just download the PDF, print it out and start tracking.

Join The Conversation
la-dee-da-dee la-dee-da-dee 9 years
How weird i was just mentioning to a friend that we should start doing this the other day!
Swedeybebe Swedeybebe 9 years
so, i started and have been keeping track of what i have been eating for about a week now. its totally been working so far, i have become fully aware of how much i eat and have been staying within my projected daily goals. what a great tool!
seyory seyory 9 years
It's taken me a while to see the benefits of food journaling. In the past week or two, it's helped me note what times I tend to eat my sweets, and I've started listening to my body more. At the end of the day's food, I write something good and maybe something no-so-ideal I did that day. But if I write something bad, I make sure I identify something I did "right"
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I don't journal anymore because I tend to follow a pretty predictable diet, but when I first started eating healthy, I kept a journal of my "old" eating style so I could get a baseline of how many calories I was eating. I thought for sure I was only eating about 2000 a day, but it turned out I was eating close to 4500-5000. It's amazing how much food you "forget" you ate when you don't write it down!
astello astello 9 years
i started tracking everything i eat on a little over a month ago, and i have gotten my friends and family hooked on it too! it's a great site, i definitely recommend it for anyone interested in tracking their food intake. *every* food you could possibly think of is listed there. over the last 3 months i've lost 21 pounds, and my weight loss has accelerated since i started tracking my food. do it!! :)
sayjay23 sayjay23 9 years
When I was on Weight Watchers it was IMpARATIVE to write every single thing down that you consumer... not that I am at a healthy weight I still write down some of the major stuff but the little odds and ends I like to snack on (like cinnamon fiber cereal) I feel as though it won't make THAT much of a difference. I def think writing down things helps lose weight though!
ehadams ehadams 9 years
I have been wanting to do this but I haven't found an online food journal I like. I would also use Fit's except I don't like to print stuff out- I like online tools. I will check into sparkpeople.
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 9 years
I signed for spark people after hearing about it on another site before starting WW but didn't end up using it. I do pretty much the same with WW anyway even though I'm always aware of what I'm eating anyway. It doesn't hurt though to have it written down.
Swedeybebe Swedeybebe 9 years
sparkpeople it is! sounds promising :)
darkangel2305 darkangel2305 9 years
Great Idea. I just set up my own sparkpeople. I have a weight lose goal of 20 lbs. Wish me luck!
tsp tsp 9 years
i think this has absolutely made the difference for me. back in march i had just had enough of feeling gross and out of shape, and didn't recognize myself anymore. i started exercising more, eating better (i DON'T call it a diet, because i just changed the way i thought about food), and keeping a journal (i just use google notebooks to do it, so its accessible anywhere). i've lost 32lbs and i FEEL SO MUCH BETTER! i keep track of food (although i don't calorie count), water intake, and exercise in my journal. i have a friend who is a personal trainer, and she's looked it over for me to see where i can do better. i was so glad to read about this study yesterday and hope that people who are trying to make changes will give it a try.
Greentea1203 Greentea1203 9 years
I carry a little notebook with me to write down everything I eat and the calories, not to lose weight so much because I'm underweight, but just because I'm obsessive like that, and I like making lists. :)
cravinsugar cravinsugar 9 years
Mandeelei--I have having a hard time eating the amount of calories they say I should have. I plan out my meals, healthy snacks, and still finish 200-400 calories below my suggested calorie range! I have even started adding an ice cream cone from McD's and I STILL have calories left! lol. It is a great tool though.
MandeeLei MandeeLei 9 years
I also use sparkpeople and love it. Now that I am only a few lbs from goal and am focusing more on toning I thought it would be ok to stop journaling. I was OK at first but quickly noticed I started to eat more snacks and treats because I felt less accountable for them and as if they wouldn't matter. Well those little things add up fast!
seven7 seven7 9 years
I agree with this. I am using's tool body by glamour right now, and not only does it help me regulate my calorie intake, but it's also helped me eat more healthy. Not only that, but I find that it helps me with my occasional indulgence, since I am more aware of my caloric intake, I know what healthy low calorie foods to eat throughout that day/week to minimize "the damage".
cravinsugar cravinsugar 9 years
Fit, you should make all of your trackers digital and useable online. Right now I am on sparkpeople, but would be using yours if I didn't have to print them out and have extra paper clutter around the house!
ahaynes ahaynes 9 years
It really does help. I've been using Twitter's Tweet What You Eat which was recommended by Fit (or maybe Geeksugar) not too long ago and it is great! It helps me really see what I eat on a regular basis and keeps me from feeling guilty if I splurge and have something yummy to eat (chocolate cake!) every once and a while.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Of course it works! Seeing what you actally ate for the dat will make you ask yourself twice about that bag of chips before bed...
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
I agree this is a great way to be accountable! I write everything I eat down then show it to my trainer twice a week. He tells me where I could improve and what to cut where etc. It's awesome, I've lost 20 lbs and am feeling good!
kittyink kittyink 9 years
I've been working with a nutritionist for about 6 months and this was the first thing she had me do (along with wearing a pedometer to make sure I get at least 10,000 steps a day). So far, I have lost 20 pounds. It really works!
emmag emmag 9 years
Agreed! I use an online journal that automatically calculates the calories in the food you enter. As soon as I hit my daily target, I stop eating (usually). 15 pounds lost and still going!
sundaygreen sundaygreen 9 years
It surely does.
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