Simple and Effective Weight Management Tool

September 19, 2009

In the last post, I listed the website, “” as a good site for tracking daily calories.  In response to that post, Rob Northrup said the following: “I carry a small memo pad with me and I write down everything before I eat it.”

My response to Rob’s comment is: “That’s awesome!”  Here’s why I think a food journal is a very good idea.

Blank Food & Exercise Journal

Blank Food & Exercise Journal

A food journal will enable its user to track his energy intake (food) over the course of time that he keeps it.  So, if a person weighs himself and tracks his body fat percentage on a weekly basis, he can then use the food journal, his body fat percentage, and his weight to paint a complete picture of what his body is doing, as far as losing or gaining fat is concerned.  Here’s how.

Let’s say that a person weighs himself and takes his body fat percentage on 3 consecutive weeks.  He notices that his weight has increased by 2 pounds over the 3 weeks and that his body fat percentage has increased by 1% or so.  He can then take his food journal, look at what he has consumed over those three weeks, and plan to cut his food and/or increase his exercise to reverse his weight gain (the combination of diet control AND exercise is most ideal for weight management).

A pound of fat contains 3500 calories.  Two pounds over 3 weeks is an accumulation of 7000 calories of stored energy.  The journal user could look at his food journal and plan his eating by subtracting, for example, a piece of bread here, a slice of cheese there, using low fat or no fat dairy products, using mostly or all egg whites rather than all whole eggs, going with fresh raw fruit for deserts, eating more green and yellow veggies, etc.  He could use caloric information from the web along with his journal to cut 400 or so calories from his daily diet.  400 calories per day equals 2800 per week, which would equal 8400 calories over 3 weeks.  Throw in some cardio and weight training over the same time period, and Mr. Journal-User could have a meaningful fat loss over the next 3 weeks.

Successful Fat Loss!

Successful Fat Loss!

This is an example.  It assumes that the journal user’s caloric intake is enough to reasonably support a 400 calorie per day reduction.  Also, the body is quite “smart” in that it makes adaptations to whatever we throw at it; thus, after a while, Mr. J-U would likely experience a plateau.  In addition, all calories are NOT treated the same by the body, so what we eat is important.  These are topics to be covered in future posts.

But, regarding the food journal, it is a simple and effective tool that anyone that is serious about weight management should make use of.  You can carry it with you everywhere, and you never have to worry about whether or not you have web access.


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17 Responses to “Simple and Effective Weight Management Tool”

  1. I see you are using JJ’s abs again!


  2. Hi Darryl,

    indeed, keeping track, I have always heard is a superb weight management tool.

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell

    Single Baby Boomer Dating Success Expert

  3. Kate McKeon says:

    It takes such discipline to keep a journal. I read a line ages ago that was something like this . . .

    Good girls keep journals . . . bad girls don’t have the time.

    Building Super Star Talent, Kate

  4. Katie says:

    So how do you propose for someone to keep track of body fat percentage on a weekly basis?

    Healthy Living, Katie

  5. I find it’s tedious to use a food journal for more than a couple days at a time. Still, it is great for getting a snapshot of our diet. When I use one I’m often amazed at how much I’ve eaten compared to how much I thought I’d eaten.

    Steve Chambers
    Business to Business Sales Training Expert

  6. A food journal sounds like an excellent idea for people trying to “reshape” themselves. I’d eat more if I knew it would go to the right places!

    Lisa McLellan
    Babysitting Services – Babysitters and Nannies

  7. Bob Kaufer says:


    There is a good iphone app called lost it that is free and possibly better than

    Hope all is well. I finish my Z training in October and have learned incredible things about being well in the last 4 months and have blasted through plateaus that I never thought i could.

    God Bless.


  8. James Mason says:

    This has been very informative, all the information you have been sharing.

    Hope everyone is taking notes. Effective weight management sounds like some good keywords.



  9. Great explanation, and great tool. I love it. On my way to weight loss with your help.

    Robert Martin

  10. This is just like money and our net worth. We have to pay attention if we want results.

  11. Vicki says:

    I’ve never kept a food journal. If I feel the scale stopping where I feel uncomfortable or my pants are feeling a little snug, I eat less and put more activity in my life. I’ve pretty much stayed my weight since high school but I’ve already shrunk an 1″ in height.


  12. Lynn Lane says:


    Great Point.
    Knowing what you eat and that you have a plan of action to adjust your calories for good health is a great reason for a journal.

    Lynn Lane

    Success Strategies For Life

  13. John Ho says:


    Yap, nothing is more simple & effective than a journal for weight control.

    It forces us to face and manage the reality.

    John Ho
    Numerology Expert Helps Understanding Personality for Better Influence & Persuasion (

  14. Keri Eagan says:

    I was encouraged to use a food journal so I could see the relationship between food and mood. Certainly pursuaded me to eat breakfast from then on.

    Keri Eagan
    Anything Alternative

  15. Martin says:

    …and if you can get into the habit of filling in your food journal BEFORE you eat this will REALLY help your weight management. Doing this will interrupt the automatic “See food, Eat food” habit and make eating more of a conscious decision – both what you’re about to eat and how much you’re about to eat.



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