5 Surprising Benefits of Journaling for Weight Loss

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One of the best things I ever did for my health and fitness was to start journaling for weight loss. It taught me how to understand myself, plan ahead, and get consistent with losing weight.

If you haven’t tried it before, here are some surprising benefits of journaling for weight loss:

  • Check-in with your thoughts and feelings
  • Remind yourself of your why
  • Recommit to your healthy habits
  • Set your intentions for the day
  • Track your progress

In this article, I’m going to go into how journaling for weight loss actually helps you do all of those things and why it helps so much with losing weight.

5 Surprising Benefits of Journaling for Weight Loss

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5 Surprising Benefits of Journaling for Weight Loss

Whenever I mention how much journaling has helped me lose weight I inevitably get the question:

Why do you write in a weight loss journal?

For those who haven’t tried it before, journaling for weight loss might sound strange. If weight loss comes from diet and exercise, what good does writing do?

The benefits of journaling for weight loss come down to this: all the health advice in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t know how to make yourself actually stick with it.

No matter how perfect your diet is, if you don’t stick with it, you won’t lose weight. The best exercise plan in the world won’t help you if you don’t show up and do the workouts.

To ever see any results with your weight loss, you have to know how to stay motivated and consistent. And that’s where journaling comes in.

So let’s get into how journaling helps with weight loss.

1.) Check-in with your thoughts and feelings

One of the best benefits of journaling for weight loss is how it allows you to check-in with your thoughts and feelings. The things we think and how we feel have a big impact on the actions that we take.

If you woke up tired and moody, odds are pretty good you will have a hard time not eating the sugary cereal you make the kids for breakfast. Or you might struggle to get up and get your morning workout in.

Journaling helps give you an opportunity to address all the thoughts in your head and sort out whether they will actually help you reach your goals. If the answer is no, then you have an opportunity to replace those thoughts with more helpful ones.

So often the thoughts that drive our actions run through our minds so fast that we don’t even notice them. Or if we do, we accept them as fact, missing an opportunity to change things around.

Here is an example from a journal entry I did this week:

  • Journal Prompt: How do I feel today? Today is going to be a ______ day!
    • Answer: Tired. Today is going to be a long day. I really want to go back to sleep. Waking up early to workout before the kids wake up is a stupid idea. Maybe I could just fit it in later.
  • Follow up: Is this true? Does this help me reach my goals? What else might be true?
    • Answer: This really is the best time to work out and once I get moving I always feel better. I have a hard time fitting in workouts later in the day, so I’m fooling myself if I think I’ll get around to it later. Plus, working out first thing usually gives me a lot more energy throughout the rest of the day, even when I wake up tired.

I can promise you that if I hadn’t journaled about feeling tired and not wanting to get up, I would have easily crawled back into bed and hit the snooze button. Instead, I got up, did my workout, and ended up having a really good morning.

Printable Morning Weight Loss Journal

Why this helps with weight loss…

Being able to check-in with your thoughts and feelings has a huge impact on your weight loss. Understanding how you feel and the thoughts that are driving you will allow you to make much better decisions throughout the day.

Instead of subconsciously reacting to how you feel and potentially overeating, skipping workouts, or completely throwing in the towel, you are aware of how you’re feeling and can act accordingly.

If you woke up feeling like junk, you have the chance to reframe your thoughts and be on the lookout for poor decision making. If you woke up feeling great, you can take advantage of that good mood and tackle some of the tougher weight loss habits.

Either way, that awareness you get from journaling can really help you mentally be in a better place to do what’s needed to lose weight.

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2.) Remind yourself of your why

The next benefit of journaling for weight loss and that you get a chance to remind yourself about your why. It’s an opportunity every morning to recommit to why weight loss is important to you.

Sometimes it can be tough to stay motivated to eat healthy and exercise. You probably start off the week with good intentions. You plan some healthy breakfasts and opt for the Chicken Salad at lunch.

But by Wednesday things start to feel tough, and by Thursday you feel tired, overwhelmed, and it’s really easy to convince yourself you don’t even care about losing weight right now. You’re ready to grab the nearest comfort food that will help get you through the day and survive until Friday.

Next thing you know, it’s Monday again, and whatever progress you made with your weight loss last week has disappeared over the weekend.

A lot of that back and forth drama could all be avoided if you were more tuned into why weight loss is important to you.

Goal Setting Workbook

Why this helps with weight loss…

This helps with your weight loss because it allows you to stay motivated and connected with your weight loss goals. It’s a lot harder to convince yourself that it’s ok to just let everything slide during the weekend when just that morning you spent ten minutes writing about how much you miss feeling confident about your body.

Journaling each morning about why weight loss is important to you really helps to keep you motivated throughout the day. And when you’re motivated, you actually do the things you need to do to lose weight.

3.) Recommit to your healthy habits

Next on the list of surprising benefits of journaling for weight loss is that it helps you recommit to your healthy habits. Every time you sit down to journal about weight loss, you are reminding yourself of what you need to do to lose weight.

One of the questions I ask myself each morning is “How do I want to feel about my weight loss today?” Then I ask myself what do I actually need to do to feel that way.

Here is a recent example:

  • Journal Prompt: How do I want to feel about my weight loss today? 
    • Answer: I want to feel successful with my weight loss. I want to feel in control of my eating and consistent with my workouts. I want to know that I will continue to maintain my weight loss and feel comfortable and confident in my body.
  • Follow up: What do I need to do to feel that way?
    • Answer: I need to plan my meals so I make healthy eating decisions. I need to make sure I get my workout in. I need to pay attention to how I’m feeling this afternoon so I don’t slip into mindless snacking when I get tired.

Taking the time to write about those questions in the morning puts my healthy habits in front of my mind. They don’t get pushed to the bottom of the endless list of to-do’s that comes with being a busy mom.

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Why this helps with weight loss…

Weight loss is a long term game. Especially if you’re trying to have healthy, sustainable weight loss. It’s going to take a while. That means that it can be super easy to feel unmotivated and frustrated when you’re doing the same things day in and day out.

Taking 5-10 minutes to journal about your weight loss helps connect you with the results of those actions. Yeah, it gets tiring having to always say no to hitting the drive-through when it’s been a long day.

But when you spent that morning writing about how taking that extra time to drive home and eat a healthy meal instead will actually help you lose weight, it becomes a lot easier.

Journaling for weight loss helps motivate you to stick with your healthy habits. And if you’ve ever spent any time working on your health and fitness, you know that any extra source of motivation you can find is well worth the effort.

4.) Set your intentions for the day

One of my favorite benefits of journaling for weight loss is how it helps set your intentions for the day. One of the things I make sure I do every day is write down what I’m going to do to help lose (or maintain) my weight loss.

Sometimes it’s as simple as make a 24-hour meal plan and go for a walk. Or it might be a little more complicated like: make a 24-hour meal plan, get a 20-minute workout in, check-in with my accountability group, meal prep, etc.

Either way, I write down what healthy habits I’m focusing on because when you write your goals down, you are 42% more likely to follow through on them. 42%! Very few other tasks that are this simple are going to create that level of results.

Printable Morning Weight Loss Journal

Why this helps with weight loss…

This helps with weight loss because in order to lose weight you have to be consistent with your habits. Doing something once or twice doesn’t work.

You don’t have to be perfect, but you definitely have to aim for sticking to your healthy habits most of the time. You need to make healthier eating choices and fit in those workouts most of the time.

Therefore, anything that helps you reach that goal of “most of the time” definitely needs to become a part of your routine. Taking a few minutes each morning to at least write down what actions you will take to lose weight can go a long way toward helping you reach your weight loss goals.

If you aren’t on board with any other type of journaling, I hope you take advantage of this benefit and just write down each day what you want to do to help you lose weight.

5.) Track your progress

Last on this list of benefits of journaling for weight loss is that you get to track your progress. Now for some, this might not be surprising, but the way I look at it is definitely unique.

A lot of times people think about tracking their progress as just writing down their wins. Maybe they like to track how many workouts they do or what they ate that week.

I know printable weight loss trackers are also really popular.

I think all of those things are great and an important part of weight loss, but tracking shouldn’t all be about what’s working. You also need to know what’s not working.

Which foods aren’t helping you lose weight? What type of diet will you be unable to stick to and which workouts are you most likely to hit snooze on?

I can tell you right now, that journaling about the things that weren’t working for me helped a lot! I realized that I will never be able to stick to a Keto diet and that I’m not a huge fan of spin bikes.

Goal Setting Workbook

Why this helps with weight loss…

This helps with weight loss because when you know what works you can do more of it. And when you know what doesn’t work, you can stop doing that.

After realizing I couldn’t stick to a Keto diet, I stopped trying and focused on planning more healthy meals I would actually want to eat. I stopped planning spin bike workouts for myself and started planning ones I looked forward to getting up and doing.

A lot of times we try to do whatever diet or workout that some expert claims is the “best” or “most effective.” Even if it makes us miserable.

But here’s the thing, if you aren’t willing to actually stay consistent with it, it doesn’t matter how good it is. If you aren’t doing it, you are better off planning to do the things you will stick with.

Like I mentioned before, weight loss is all about consistency. When you track your progress, you get important feedback on what you can be consistent with and what you can’t.

And when you plan your healthy habits accordingly, you will start to make continual progress toward your weight loss goals.

Weight Loss Journal Prompts

Here are 10 of my favorite weight loss journal prompts. You can head to my post here >> 25 Quick Morning Journal Ideas for Weight Loss to see some more.

  1. How am I feeling?
  2. Why is it important for me to lose weight?
  3. How will my life improve when I lose weight?
  4. What is the extra weight costing me in my life right now?
  5. What is 1 healthy habit I’m willing to improve by 1%?
  6. How will I get some movement in today?
  7. What is 1 thing I can do to work towards weight loss today?
  8. What have I learned about my eating and exercise habits?
  9. Where am I struggling with my weight loss?
  10. What meals will I eat today?

Journals for Weight Loss

When it comes to journaling for weight loss I truly believe there is no wrong way to do it. You can use guided journals, journal prompts in a traditional journal, or just free write how you’re feeling each morning.

I personally get more out of the experience if I sit down and write it out by hand, but I know other women who like to type on the computer or on their phone.

Either way you do it is effective. It’s more important that you do it in a way that works for you.

If you’re like me and you enjoy sitting down and writing by hand, here are some of my favorite journals you can try.

Life & Apples Wellness Planner

This is a guided all-in-one-planner with room to track your food and exercise. If you’re just looking for something to help you track your progress and stay on track, this is a good choice.

Wellness Log & Planner

This weight loss journal has room for you to track and log your healthy habits while also leaving some room to go a little more in-depth with your journaling.

Inspirational Journal

This is just a blank journal with a beautiful cover. Journals like these are my personal favorite because I can customize them however I like.

Printable Weight Loss Journals

Another good option is to use printable weight loss journals. You can reuse these over and over without having to purchase an actual journal. These are also nice because they combine the convenience of a guided journal while still allowing you to write as much as you need.

Printable Morning Weight Loss Journal

Printable Morning Weight Loss Journal

Weight Loss Journal

Printable weight loss journal

Printable Weight Loss Planner

Printable Weight Loss Journal


Thoughts on Journaling for Weight Loss…

So there you have five surprising, but important reasons that journaling for weight loss is so beneficial. It has helped me stay motivated and consistent with my healthy habits.

I can definitely say that keeping a weight loss journal has helped me stay committed to my healthy habits and finally reach my weight loss goals. If you would like help reaching your weight loss goals, check out my online weight loss coaching program Losing it for the Last Time.

What about you? What are your favorite benefits of journaling for weight loss? Let us know in the comments or email me at Candice@littlestepsbighappy.com. Follow me on Pinterest for more weight loss advice and tips.

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5 Surprising Benefits of Journaling for Weight Loss

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