Journaling is a process that encourages self-realization and relaxation. When you open a journal there are no obligations, no judgments and no expectations. It is you and the paper, and whatever thoughts, hopes, frustrations and habits you want to log.
Journaling is a highly recommended tool for coping with changes after weight loss surgery. The weight loss process is filled with ups and downs, and a journal can help you keep your focus as you work through each of them.
Here are 25 ways a journal may benefit you.
A journal and your diet:
1. Will keep track of what and how much you eat
2. Can track how often you are eating
3. Will show trends in your hunger habits, revealing times of day you are most likely to eat
4. The habit of writing down what you eat can increase dietary accountability
5. Can track your hydration habits too, helping ensure you are drinking enough fluids
A journal and your fitness level:
6. Can track how often you go to the gym
7. Creates a resource for you to challenge yourself
8. Is a platform where you can track your improvements
9. Is a good resource for listing goals and making plans
10. Allows you to see your progress overtime
A journal and stress management:
11. Can bring focus to areas of your life that need improvement
12. Is a resource to get frustrations out of your head
13. Provides you with a place to process thoughts without risk of judgment or embarrassment
14. Can help you gain perspective on your own thought processes.
15. Creates a place where you can track trends concerning people, places and events that cause stress in your life.
A journal and organization:
16. Can hold your to-do list and keep your tasks organized
17. Holds thoughts and questions to consider later, including questions you may have for your weight loss doctor
18. Can be with you at all times, creating a safe and reliable space for you to jot down thoughts
19. Can reveal patterns and cycles that you might want to break away from
20. Can help you separate professional and personal thoughts
A journal and your health:
21. Can help you track the way that foods, exercise, sleeping habits and other aspects of your life affect the way you feel
22. Creates a space where you can track headaches, bowel movements, stomach aches and other ailments so you can better understand potential causes
23. Can function as a platform for you to track habits and keep a log that you can share with your weight loss doctor
24. Is a resource where you can let stressful thoughts out of your head every evening to improve sleeping habits
25. Can reduce your risk of anxiety and depression by helping you to process thoughts
In 2008, researchers from Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon found that keeping a weight loss journal was the most powerful predictor for successful weight loss.
After six months, people who wrote in their journal more than five days a week experienced the greatest amount of weight loss.
Your journal doesn’t need to be a typical notebook guarded under a lock and key. Consider using a journaling app on your smartphone to start logging thoughts and actions, or creating a document on your computer that you can turn to at the end of the day.