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A Health Journal Is Important for Diabetes Self-Management

Recording what you eat, what time you ate it, what your blood glucose readings are at what time, when you take your medication, how much activity you got, if you are ill and even your mood can provide a wealth of important information to evaluate.

The more interesting thing is that even if you never evaluate anything about that information the simple act of writing it down has a significant impact on your success. Tracking food intake was a consistent strategy among the members of the National Weight Control Registry, all of whom have lost and kept off at least 30 pounds.

The most successful strategy is not a number, but a goal to be healthier. Among the successful weight losers, the strong starters, 82 percent tracked their food intake daily.

Study after study shows this same connection between recordkeeping and success with lifestyle changes. Writing it down gets your brain involved and knowing you intend to write it down keeps you accountable to doing the right thing. Having the data is almost an extra bonus; the bigger motivation is simply the act of consciously writing down your diabetes-related activities.

If you’re comfortable with technology, there are websites or phone/tablet apps where you can record the relevant information in a database. If you’re more a pen and paper person, use pen and paper. Just write it down. The time and effort is negligible, but the benefit is incredible.

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