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Track Your Progress
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.

1. Keeping food records

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 be recorded.

  • 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 free"?
  • Did you eat any bread or other foods made of whole grain flour, even if fat free?

  • Did you eat any food from a restaurant?

  • Did you drink any beverages that contain calories? 

  • 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.

2. Keeping exercise and weight records

In the second section of your weight loss journal, make a simple daily entry:
  • The date

  • Your weight

  • 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? Why?

In the exercise section you also want to have a page where you record your 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.

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.

Read 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 lose weight.

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 motivated.

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 slowdown. 

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