weight-loss is a $60 billion per year industry. let that sink in. SIXTY. BILLION. that means that at any given time, most of us have bought into some sort of weight-loss program - whether by purchasing a slim-down shake or attempting some new-fad cleanse or hiring a personal trainer at the gym. but through all those attempts at losing a few lbs, there’s one piece of the puzzle that many have probably never even heard of: food journaling.
what is food journaling, you ask? it’s simple: you eat something, you write it down.
now, let’s get something straight right up front. food journaling is not just about weight-loss. yes, it can be an invaluable tool if you’re trying to lose weight, but in fact, keeping track of what you’re eating can also help you identify food allergies + sensitivities, inflammation triggers, bad patterns, emotional eating and much more. and these are just a few of the reasons why we created fitbook.
[why we created it the way we did]
our chief fitlosopher created our flagship 12-week fitbook out of personal necessity. she had a history of disordered eating, so it was important to her to take control of her eating habits once + for all. it was actually through the process of journaling that she was able to gain some sense of control over her 7 years of battling eating disorders. as an NASM-certified trainer, she also religiously kept track of her workouts, and she wanted one spot where she could keep it all together. thus fitbook was born - taking what could be a daunting prospect for many (planning out your workouts + meal plans in advance), and breaking it up into bite-sized weekly doses. she was adamant about this not being just a tracker, but creating a system for setting goals, hence the 12-week goal setting + weekly planning pages. then, daily pages for logging each workout + meal make it even easier to take things one baby step at a time, and before you know it, it becomes a lifestyle, a part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth or taking your vitamins. its relatively diminutive size also means it’s super stashable, so you can toss it in your bag + carry it around with you wherever you go!
[why it works]
food journaling works because it’s not overwhelming or extreme. it’s not about magic pills or drastic changes or deprivation diets. it’s a simple premise that fosters an easy daily routine through small, incremental changes and provides accountability that may have otherwise been lacking. and the information gained from one finished fitbook is invaluable.
in one very well-known kaiser permanente study, participants who kept a food journal actually doubled their weight loss. why? according to the researchers, the simple act of writing down everything you eat makes you much more mindful of the things you’re putting into your body, which inevitably means you’ll probably be consuming less junk + fewer calories.
the one question our chief fields frequently: why not use an app? ah, glad you asked. her tip: use what works for you! but get this - research has found that while 69% of people track their health, the majority use good ol' pen + paper. furthermore, PEW research center found that writing things down proved to trump pixels stating that, "technology did not play a big role."
[how to use fitbook]
so you took the first step + ordered your very own fitbook. now what?? great question! there’s really no right or wrong way to use a fitbook. obviously, to get the most out of it, you want to utilize every thoughtfully added feature, such as the weekly-goal pages or the journal pages, but the point is to customize it to your life. because we want you to understand fitbook as it was designed, we’re breaking it down into steps to make it super simple.
step 1: figure out your goals
this is a big part of the equation. your goal(s) for starting the fitbook will not only shape the steps you’ll be taking reach those goals, they’ll also serve as motivation to stay accountable + consistent. be honest with yourself. why are you doing this? to lose weight? to look great on a vacation? to figure out once and for all why you can’t beat that bloat? there is no wrong answer. just figure out your why before you get started on the how. write down your 12-week goals on the corresponding page, as well as your weekly goals as each weekly page comes up. breaking it up into smaller, more incremental steps is less daunting + ups your odds of hitting your big goals in the end.
step 2: each week, plan out your meals in advance
at the beginning of each week, there are weekly planning pages. use these to at least loosely plan out what you’ll be eating (+ workouts you’ll be doing) to make it easier on yourself for both grocery-shopping + meal-prep, as well as lessen the likelihood that you’ll go off-track + pick up fast food on those busy workdays. (pro tip: another tool that’ll help you plan out your weekly meals seamlessly - our eat fit kit shopping list + meal planning pad.)
step 3: each day, anytime you eat, you jot
at first, it might take some getting used to, but pretty soon, putting pen to paper after each meal will become second nature. write down what you ate, what time you ate + how it made you feel. make sure you’re keeping track of your water consumption too, as well as portions in the nutrient tracker to be sure to fit in all your fruits + veggies! having these notes will help you pinpoint any patterns you might need to adjust or identify gaps in your diet. if you’ve been having tummy troubles or inexplicable weight gain + can’t quite put your finger on the cause, this daily exercise is a must-do. speaking of exercise, there's also space to log your daily workouts, because our chief intentionally designed this to be 50/50: food + fitness. one intentional oversight: you'll never see the mention of tracking calories or macros. the notes column was designed to log things like time you ate, but clearly you can track what you'd like (calories, weight watcher's points, macros, etc.) but sometimes those deets can derail our progress because we obsess - if that's you, take a break from the numbers + focus on how you feel.
step 4: reflect, reflect, reflect + reward!
at the end of week, you'll reflect in the weekly wrap-up + journal the good, the not-so-good + focus on what you want to improve going into the next week! pat yourself on the back for the wins + learn from the losses. at the very end of each fitbook, record your ending stats + accomplishments as you reflect on the last 12 weeks. did you reach those goals you set back in week 1?? if so, treat yoself to that prized pay-off you promised yourself in the beginning! so many times we forget to reward ourselves for our accomplishments both big + small. fitbook makes darn sure you don't skip this step! didn't get your goals? use this 12-week time capsule to try + figure out why. you’ll be able to take that information + use it to help you make any tweaks for your next goal-getting attempt. either way, high five yourself, because you’ve come a long way, baby!
ready to crack open that fitbook + get started??
whether you get started with our 12-week flagship fitbook that our chief created 10 years ago (this one is perfect if you're a self-proclaimed gym rat + serious goal getter) or start with our healthy-habits focused 6-week fitbook lite (perfect for those who are newer to fitness + food journaling), either way food journaling might be the missing piece in your health puzzle. one thing's for sure: this is not a quick fix - but it works. are you ready? let’s DO this!! those goals won’t crush themselves!
comment below: have you tried food journaling? what has worked for you? share your questions, comments + accomplishments below + our chief will respond to each!