Keep a Weight Loss Journal
The best way to maintain your focus is to keep a weight loss journal.
Scientific research shows that people who keep a journal are
more successful at weight loss than are those who don't. Get a
notebook and divide it into three sections. We suggest a loose
leaf notebook so you can add more pages as needed.
In the first section of your weight loss journal, keep your
food record. Don't
worry, you don't have to count calories or measure portions. And you
don't have to write down everything you eat. You only have to write down the
food you eat if you deviate from our vegan weight loss plan.
Easy, huh? (This motivates you to stay on the program too.)
To check if you need to make a journal entry for the day, ask
yourself the following questions:
Did you skip breakfast?
- Did you eat more than 3 servings of fresh
fruit? (You can substitute
1 1/2 oz dried fruit for 1 serving fresh fruit.)
Did you eat any high fat plant foods
(nuts, seeds, avocado, olives, coconut, tofu, soybeans)? One Tbsp
ground flax seeds or
one oz of walnuts daily are good and do not need to
Did you eat any refined foods, such as
foods containing white
flour, added fats, oils, or sweeteners?
- Did you eat any processed foods, like soy
cheese, meat substitutes, protein powder, or artificial sweeteners,
even if "fat
Did you eat any bread or other foods made of
flour, even if fat free?
Did you eat any food from a restaurant?
Did you drink any beverages that contain
- Did you eat anything after 8:00 p.m.?
If the answer to all these questions is "no", you are on
track. Make no entry in the diet section of your journal. If you follow
the low fat vegan diet plan closely, you
will not have to spend any time on the food part of your journal at
all. Write down
the date and details of any "yes" answers.
exercise and weight records
In the second section of your weight loss journal, make a
In the exercise section you also want to have a page where you record
weight once a week at the same day and time. This will chart your
weight loss progress to make sure you are not losing more than two
pounds per week.
How many steps did you walk today? Your goal
is 10,000 steps per day or 70,000 steps per week. If you are
using a different aerobic
exercise, record the exercise and how many minutes you spent doing it.
Aim for 60 to 90 minutes of exercise per day.
Did you skip your exercise completely today?
3. Research, planning, and goals
The third section of your journal is where you will do the planning and
goal-setting for your weight loss program. You will actually use this
section before you begin changing your diet and exercise program. Some
people will only have a few entries in
this section. Others will use it extensively.
this information on how to break bad habits. After you read
our summary, you might decide to read the book Changing for Good, which
is an excellent resource.
The book contains several interesting
exercises to use as you plan your weight loss program. Record the
exercises in this section of your journal.
Put a current photo of yourself in the journal. Date the photo.
Take another photo a month later, and every month thereafter as you
Write down your weight loss goals. After
you reach one small goal, write down your next one.
Write some weight loss affirmations to use in keeping yourself
Record any insights you have as you follow the plan.
Record any other information you find that will be useful. Some
possible facts to record are:
- Local health food stores
- Local vegetarian restaurants
- Favorite low calorie vegan recipes
- Books to read
- Ideas for entertaining without blowing your diet
Your weight loss journal is a great tool to keep you on track. If you
continue to lose 1 - 2 pounds a week, you don't need to spend much time
with the journal. If you reach a plateau or start to gain weight,
review your journal carefully to determine the reasons for your