If you’ve never heard of food journaling, here’s a quick breakdown on exactly what it is. It’s a simple way to help you identify and even control what you eat. People often think they ate less than they really ate. In fact, some people tell me they barely eat, yet still gain weight. That all changes when they journal and realize all those calories they consumed without realizing it. Food journaling is even easier now that Smartphones are available. You can voice record or use a memo section in your phone and transfer the information at the end of the day. Most people never leave the house without their phone, so you always have a way to track your intake with you.
Keeping good records gives you the best type of information.
Know yourself and you’re halfway to success. You can keep journaling simple and just record the type and amount of food you ate or you could get more involved and add additional information, like what you were feeling at the time. For instance, if you absent mindlessly grabbed a piece of candy each time you pass the bowl, you’ll be more aware of your habit. If you added you reached for candy because you were under stress, it adds to your personal knowledge.
The more you put in, the more benefit you get.
Noting time, place, mood and even circumstances when you ate food gives you information that can help you lose weight, but it also can help you identify what causes digestive issues. It helps you isolate food or food groups that are causing distress. If you feel horrible and bloated and note it, then look back to see all the times it occurred, it can help isolate the offending food. It may even save time and money on doctor’s visits and maybe eliminate unnecessary medication that also has side effects.
Don’t forget portion size.
The key is identifying portion size. Two people can eat an order of fries, but one will have more calories. How can that be? Maybe because that one person ordered a large order of fries or maybe because the restaurant put more fries than the other did on the plate or in the container. Knowing your portion size is important. The size of the plate can also fool you into thinking you ate more than you did, with the plate small or less than you did if the plate is large.
- Track what you drank, too. Just one soft drink with a meal can increase your calories enough to gain a pound in 12 days.
- You can track your nutrition when you journal. Are you eating the right amount of macronutrients, do you get enough vitamins and minerals?
- If you’re a mom and ever “cleaned up the table” eating that last small spoonful of rice, potato salad or other dish before you rinsed and put them in the dishwasher, count that food too.
- One study revealed that those who journaled for three months, without changing anything else, lost weight without ever dieting.
For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness