Keeping A Diet Journal: Why It Works

Maybe you kept a diary when you were a small child, or perhaps you’ve never thought about recording the things you think and do. Now that you’re an adult, maybe you don’t think you have the time.

Make time.

Journaling can help you reach your fitness goals. When you’re building your body and trying to increase your muscle, you probably keep track of your weekly workouts in some way. Maybe you simply keep a list or load it into an excel spreadsheet. Perhaps you write down reps in a notebook or on a page on a clipboard. Whatever you do, the tracking of your exercise can help you see your progress and stay organized. You need to do the same thing with your nutrition.

A diet journal is a great way to make extra moves when it comes to balancing your nutrition with your fitness. Whether you’re trying to bulk up in dramatic ways and you’re eating as much protein and fat as you can to feed those muscle tissues and get bigger and more powerful or you want to trim down the fat on your body during a cutting cycle – a diet journal will help you see and appreciate your results faster.

There are 3 particularly good reasons to keep a diet journal when you’re trying to build a better body:

1. It helps you plan.

Use your diet journal to plan meals, make grocery lists, or simply write down your goals for each day, each week, or each month. Staying organized is an important part of being successful. If you wake up every day simply hoping to be stronger, it’s not going to work so well. You need an action plan, and you need to be able to see your path towards implementation. Use your diet journal to make notes about anything and everything pertaining to your food and your fitness. You can use it to hold recipes you’d like to try, to remind yourself to cut out sugar, or to make lists and measure what you’ve eaten or what you plan to eat.

2. You hold yourself accountable.

If you use your diet journal to record what you eat every day, you can quickly see what’s working for you and what needs improvement. Make it habit to write down what you eat for meals, snacks, and anything in between. If you want to increase your protein and decrease your sugar and your salt, you’ll be able to see whether you’re actually doing that. If you’re not, you can make the necessary adjustments. Holding yourself accountable to your goals is much easier to do when you write it down. Research has proven there’s an emotional response when you write things down. Write down what you expect from yourself, and you’re more likely to make it happen.

3. You can celebrate success.

One of the most positive reasons to keep a diet journal is that you have a visible and visual record of success. Count your calories, record your measurements, and see how you’re making yourself stronger and healthier. This is a great motivator.

When you’re working on a new fitness routine, you need to have a path for success. A diet journal won’t solve all of your problems or magically make your waistline slimmer and your biceps bigger. But, it will help you stay organized, hold yourself accountable, and document your bright spots. It’s easy to do, and you can use whatever format works. Some people might use a specific notebook. Maybe you prefer to do it online. Find an app if that helps. Just do what works.