So you want to make a diet change either to lose weight, achieve your fitness goals, or for some other health reason.
You’ve started to add and remove some foods from your diet, but sometimes you observe that you’ve lost track of what works and what doesn’t.
Maybe you’ve forgotten how a certain food made you feel or the exact quantity of food you ate that was just enough. As a result, you feel frustrated and realise you have to take a few steps back and pay more attention to the details you have missed.
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Does this sound familiar? This happens due to a failure to keep a record of what you eat – not just what you eat but also how it affects you. And there is no better way to do this than keeping a food journal!
Is Keeping A Food Journal Effective?
Yes. It is a great way to hold yourself accountable so you don’t fall off track and go back to your old eating habits. A food journal works because it helps you identify those foods that are both good and bad for you. It also enables you to keep track of your eating habits and patterns so you can have the necessary information to succeed with your diet plan.
How do you write a food journal?
The key to successful food journaling is to stay as consistent and accurate as possible. Don’t be hard on yourself if you miss a day. Just try to get back to it as soon as possible.
Writing with pen and paper is a tried and trusted way to do it. It is shown to be more effective than a keyboard for capturing information. But it might not be realistic for you. Try taking notes on your phone, taking pictures, or using apps and see what works. A smartphone app like LoseIt! or MyFitnessPal can help make the process easier.
To be successful at keeping a food journal, here is what you should do:
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Log foods as soon as you can
The point of keeping a food journal is to keep track of what you consume. This means recording what you’re having at the exact moment you’re having it. Since this may not always be possible, you can take a quick picture of your meal and fill in details later when you have the time.
Try to be as specific as possible when recording the food or beverage you are consuming. For example, if you are drinking a cup fo smoothie, note the type and size.
Write down where you’re eating
The places we eat have an impact on our eating habits and patterns. Not everyone eats in a dining room on a table with a cloth. Some of us have to eat at work, in a restaurant, in the kitchen, or in our room depending on our lifestyle. Keep a record of the places you eat your food. This will help you gain additional insights into your eating habits and patterns.
Record your feelings as you eat
Try to keep a record of your thinking patterns when you eat. Do you feel more compelled to grab a snack when you’re feeling stressed? When you understand how your feelings affect your eating habits, you will be better able to find ways to make specific changes.
While keeping a food journal may seem like a daunting task and even a waste of time sometimes, it is an effective way to achieve your diet goals. It holds you accountable and serves as a reference guide that helps you make informed decisions regarding your diet.
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