If you’re trying to lose weight, you may have been advised to keep a food journal and stay hydrated. But do these two things really work?
Keeping a Food Journal
A food journal or a food diary is simply a daily log of what you eat and drink. Several studies show that people who keep food journals are more likely to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off. Research further shows that those who keep a food diary for six days a week lose twice as much as those who keep a food log once a week or less.
How does writing down what you eat and drink help?
The act of writing down what you eat and drink instantly increases your awareness of what, how much, and why are you eating. It helps you identify patterns of emotional or mindless munching.
Keeping a food diary can also help you identify areas to work on to help you lose weight successfully. Oftentimes, we underestimate the amount of food we’re eating so we tend to eat more than we need. By writing it down, we become more aware of how much we’re actually consuming each day and make us aware of things to work on.
What you should include in your food diary?
A basic food journal should include:
- The types of food you’re eating. Write down specifically what food you are eating and its preparation (examples: fried, baked, etc.). Include everything, even sauces or condiments.
- The quantity of food you’re having. When it comes to weight loss, how much you eat is as important as what you eat. So, take note of the amount you have consumed. You can use measuring cups and spoons or a food scale.
- The time that you’re eating. This can be very helpful in identifying patterns of mindless munching. You may also want to include where you’re eating or how you’re feeling at that moment.
Aside from keeping a food journal, staying hydrated is another simple way of helping you lose weight.
And it’s not just about staying hydrated, it’s drinking the right kind of fluid. Many studies suggest that drinking more water can help one lose weight.
Experts theorize that it could be because of the following:
- Water is a natural appetite suppressant.
Water can take a lot of space in the stomach, giving it a feeling of fullness. When the stomach senses that it’s full, it sends a signal to the brain, which makes you stop eating.
Oftentimes, we eat thinking we’re hungry but in fact, we’re just thirsty.
- Water may boost the body’s calorie-burning ability.
Some studies suggest that drinking more water may boost the body’s ability to burn calories. Research shows that water can temporarily increase the number of calories burned while resting (also known as the body’s resting energy expenditure).
- Drinking water can help reduce overall liquid calorie intake.
It’s very easy to pack on calories with drinks like sodas, alcoholic beverages, and sugar-laden sports drinks. By satisfying your thirst with water instead of these drinks, you can significantly reduce your overall calorie intake.
- Sufficient hydration can help you with your workouts.
Water doesn’t just help remove toxins from the body. It can also help the vital organs in the body as well as the muscles, connective tissues, and joints to function effectively.
Staying hydrated is very important especially when you’re working out. Dehydration increases the risk of muscle cramps and fatigue, which may keep you from getting consistent with your routine.
If you’re obese and been struggling in losing weight through diet and exercise (even supervised ones), you may qualify for bariatric surgery.
The specialists at Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons in Knoxville, TN have performed thousands of bariatric procedures since 2002 and have more experience in robot-assisted Bariatric Surgery than any other weight loss center in Tennessee.
Here’s our step-by-step process on how to get started. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to call us at (865) 984-3413.
Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons is part of Premier Surgical Bariatrics in Knoxville, Tennessee. Foothills is affiliated with the Fort Sanders Center for Bariatric Surgery, part of Covenant Health Bariatric Services.