Journals and notebooks as a weight-loss tool
I just wanted to share with you these lovely notebooks I found in Matalan for £4 each and explain how journals and notebooks can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle.
1. Meal Planning
Firstly, you can use them for writing out your weekly meal plan. Anything that makes a chore feel a bit more like a treat is a win, so settle down with a cup of tea and your lovely new notebook and plan out the week’s meals.
As you probably know by now, I believe that planning your meals is one of the most important steps you can take to gain control of your eating habits. If you already know what you’re cooking for dinner, then you’ll be less tempted to buy a takeaway or something ready made and processed from the supermarket.
2. Food diary
Keeping a food diary for a few days to a week is a great tool to assess exactly what you’re eating.
You can also use it to help establish how you feel after eating certain foods. Personally I notice my stomach feels bloated and uncomfortable if we ever have fish and chips at the beach. Whilst it’s fine occasionally, I know my energy and general feelings of health would soon drop if I ate fatty, fried food on a regular basis.
When you can establish a clear link between the foods you eat and the way you feel, it makes it much easier to make changes.
3. Writing in a journal
Now, I’ve never kept a journal – I did have secret diaries when I was a teenager, which are particularly embarrassing to read now!
Historically, there are lots of examples of journal keeping- Samuel Pepys, Anne Franks, soldiers during the World Wars. A journal can be your best friend, never questioning your actions or emotions, helping you through the tough times in your life.
There is increasing research linking the benefits of writing in a journal with improved mood and mental health. Using a journal to write down all your worries, emotions and feelings can help your mind to process the events in your life. The action of unburdening your emotions onto a page can leave your mind clearer and calmer, lessoning the feelings of overwhelm from modern living.
Using a journal to release your emotions can also help you avoid emotional eating. When we feel low, tired or bored, it’s very easy to turn to food for comfort. When you feel like this, write it down in your journal before you go to the cupboard. Hopefully, by stopping and releasing your emotions you will be less tempted to just eat your way mindlessly through a packet of biscuits – yes, we have all been there!
There’s some great articles HERE to explain more about the positive effects of writing a journal.
4. Tracking goals
Another use for your lovely journal would be to help plan and track your goals.
Often life coaches suggest that clients should reveal their goals to a friend or loved one. This will then keep them accountable to stay on track with their actions. For most people this works – they are motivated to stick at their goal because they don’t wont to fail.
I believe though, that for many people the actual fear of failure stops them from ever setting goals. If you fear failure, it’s very difficult to tell a friend or loved one your goals. If you fail, which in your mind you are sure you will, then you also fear you will lose respect in the eyes of those you’ve told. It’s easier to just not even try because then you can’t fail.
If you are faced with this dilemma, write your goals down in a journal and keep checking in with yourself. No one else needs to know how your getting on. You can record your progress and look back on your journal to remind yourself of what you’ve achieved – even if it’s only tiny steps. In fact, the smaller the goal, the more achievable it will be i.e. “I’m going to eat a healthy breakfast each morning” or “I’m going to exercise 3 times this week”.
Lots of small steps soon add up to a new habit which can have a big impact.
I hope these ideas have inspired you to go and treat yourself to a nice, shiny new journal and set yourself a plan to use it as a tool to improve your life.
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Also, share in the comments below or on the facebook page whether you already use a journal and how you find it helps.