Keeping a Daily Food Journal is one thing you can start today to help you lose weight
Sometimes we get off track and don’t realize how or what we are eating. Lets face it, sometimes life gets in the way. We start to skip meals, then eat off our kids plates. Take a little bit of their chicken fingers and fries. Have more then a serving size of ice cream or our favorite snack. Before we know it, we have eaten far in excess of a normal amount of calorie. But we have had no substantial meal and very little in the way of nutrition. It’s easy to lose track how much we are actually eating.
When you are frequently on the go it becomes hard to stay constant in meal planning and food prep. Heck, it can even become difficult to just keep fresh fruit in the house. That is why packaged food is known as convenience food. It gives you nothing nutritious or filling, but is easy to access and carry with you. So the issue becomes, how do we combat the pull of these “easy” foods? How do we recognize when we are consuming too many calories? How do we keep track of the extra portions? The answer is a Food Journal.
- It can be can be as simple as a small note book that you carry with you and jot down what you eat right after you eat it.
- It can be something more elaborate like an on line program, such as Weight Watchers online or Sparkpeople.com which offers you a whole community of resources in addition to a food log.
- You can even use your notes app on your phone.
- If you have a Fitbit, there is a food log on that app as well.
According to the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, a food journal might be the key to losing extra weight. In addition to the possibility of weight lose, there are many benefits to keeping a daily food journal.
- Having a daily food journal keeps you accountable : By having to write down what you eat, you have to admit to overindulgences and unhealthy choices like skipping meals and eating ice cream for dinner. (Yes, I have done that.)
- You recognize patterns in your eating habits : You may start to notice that your hungry at certain times of the day that do not necessarily coincide with your normal meal times. For example, you may not be very hungry in the mornings and skip breakfast but then by 11:00 am you want to eat everything in sight! When lunchtime comes around you totally over do it. By recognizing these patterns you might be able to better coordinate your eating times to meet your bodies needs.
- You are more aware of you portions : Writing it down helps you admit that you have not eaten the 2 or 3 cookies you intended, but have eaten half of the box. We have to come face to face with our own feelings of food shame we feel when we eat in this manner. (I have been there too!)
- Helps you recognize emotional eating: Keeping a food journal helps us answer the question, “Why did I eat that?” Most of the time if we eat when we are not hungry it is because of an emotional source. Journaling helps us recognize if we are dealing with our emotions through food.
- Makes you feel more in control of your choices : Keeping a daily food journal helps you slow down and recognize what you are eating. You are more likely to actively choose to enjoy your food instead of rushing through a meal or snacking all day long. You are more in control of fueling your body then just feeding it.