If you are looking to lose weight or planning to start any weight loss management program I really recommend you keep a food and exercise journal until you have achieved your goal and you have learned how to manage your weight not even thinking about it.
There are two reasons for having a food and exercise journal.
The first reason is that the first step to lose weight is to eat less and increase your activity levels. It sounds obvious but not everybody realizes that by just eating a bit less each meal and moving a bit more every day you can lose a very important amount of weight with minimal effort.
People usually underestimate how much they eat. By night time, you have already forgotten what you ate in the morning. You also overestimate how much you exercise, not realizing that most of the time you are just sitting. It is important to know exactly what and how much is going into your mouth and how much you move in order to make sure that you eat less and exercise more.
The second reason to keep a food and exercise journal is to use it as a reference and to record your progress. By reviewing your journal, you’ll be able to know how you have changed your eating and activity habits. You will also see how much healthier you are feeling, and that will reinforce the changes you are making in your diet and lifestyle to learn to manage your weight. The Food and Exercise Journal is also going to be very helpful when you slip from the right path, which will happen from time to time. It will help you look back and see how much you have accomplished since you started your weight loss management program and to keep going instead of throwing in the towel.
Try to find a way to keep a journal that best fits you. I recommend a simple notebook, a computer spreadsheet, a computer program, or even a phone application—WHATEVER. Write what and how much you are eating—EVERYTHING—and how much you are exercising—moderate or vigorous.
In my 32 Mondays Weight Loss Management Method, I ask to change the way you eat and drink, and to engage in an exercise program. You start with one simple change and you will keep adding changes. When you follow a journal, you can look back at every step and check if you have achieved the objectives for that specific step. The journal will also help you, especially when your morale is low, by showing you how much you have accomplished over the weeks.
If you Google food journal or diary, you will find a lot of examples, Web page apps, and other tools that will help you to decide which is the right one for you. Go and get your Food and Exercise Program and start filling it!