Food Journal Benefits
Journaling: the importance of recording more than just your food!
Whether you use a pen and paper or use an app on your phone, there is no wrong way to keep a food journal. Keeping a food journal is a helpful tactic that has been suggested by nutritionists and fitness influencers of all credentials. Research shows that for people interested in dropping some pounds, keeping a journal is a very effective tool to help change behavior. In one weight loss study of nearly 1,700 participants, those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who did not keep a daily food journal (McManus).
The most important aspect when it comes to keeping a food journal is being completely honest with yourself. This includes recording every morsel that enters your body. If you indulged on a Coke or snacked on a couple of almonds, jot it down! Why would we go through all that trouble? Including habits that we know we need to change can help our other habits we’re trying to create seem more attainable.
By doing this, it will help you:
∙ Identify habits and behaviors
∙ Be a more mindful eater because when you write what you eat down it forces you to pay attention.
∙ Set goals (SMART Goals)
∙ Stay organized and prepared
∙ Let go of weight and become a healthier version of yourself.
Keeping a food journal is beneficial for more than just reflecting on everything you eat. It helps you recognize your patterns and what could be preventing you from reaching your health goals. If you tend to indulge in more chocolate around your menstrual cycle, you would be able to pinpoint that habit by writing in when you are snacking on the chocolate and what is currently going on with you and your body in that time. It has been a stressful day at work and all you want to do is come home, crack open a beer and relax in front of the T.V. That trigger alone could lead you into snacking on something salty and potentially overeating. Instead of reacting, you could respond to the stressful situation by writing down how you feel in your food journal, re-reading the response, and react in a different way. Being mindful of how you feel before and after you eat can help identify the true reasons of why you eat.
If you notice your sleep is suffering, tracking how many hours you sleep per night can help tell you why you may be stalling in your weight loss progress. Rest and recovery plays a vital role in any health and fitness regime. Other life goals not pertaining to nutrition can be worked into a food diary as well. Planning out your day ahead of time while incorporating lifestyle goals will help you be successful. Try adding in 30 minutes of walking after lunch or even a power nap in between breakfast and lunch. Your food journal can help you prioritize and plan out your day to help you optimize your time efficiently.
Set a goal of tracking your eating habits and behaviors for one week and see how your current eating style is affecting your overall health goals. It might just surprise you.
Fact: A researcher from one recent study says that people keeping a food diary six days a week lost about twice as much weight as those who kept food records one day a week or less. – WebMD
Awareness Challenge this week: Pick up a journal or make your own and track your food for one week. Keep going once you get the momentum!
Tune in next time; we’ll talk about yoga : )!
In the meantime, if you’d like to know more about living a healthier lifestyle, reach out to us for our professional guidance and support. Give us a call!
If cauliflower can somehow become pizza, you too can do anything.
Blog Photo Credit: Amazon
Cover Photo Credit: First for Women