Sometimes, eating becomes an automatic reaction that’s not even noticed. You grab a handful of snacks as you pass the bowl setting in the office kitchen. Eat a few slivers of cake while you’re cutting it for guests and lick the frosting off the knife when you’re done. All of those extra calories are often ignored, but are often the ones that put you over the edge and sabotage your weight loss program. That’s why keeping a food journal can be so important.
The information you get from a food journal will amaze you.
If you’ve never journaled, you’ll be amazed when you start recording every single bite. You’ll start notice the times you’re eating that you’d otherwise not remember. If you’re convinced that your metabolism is faulty because you don’t eat that much, a food journal might convince you otherwise. You’ll also start recognizing eating patterns. It can help if you note not only the time and place but also your mood and the circumstances when you ate. You may be using certain foods as coping mechanisms without even realizing it.
Food journaling requires you to learn portion size.
Just learning portion size can be a huge benefit. Once you realize that two cookies, not the whole package, are one portion, it will bring to light why you’re weight isn’t going down. Knowing portion size, no matter what the food, can help you identify overeating patterns. It can be tricky, especially if you put your food on large plates. Those regular portion sizes look very small when the plate is large. It might even convince you to use the dessert plates for your dinner, where it makes a single portion look huge!
Food journaling can help you feel better.
When people journal, they often find that some foods leave them feeling ill, bloated, gassy or give them a reaction the next day. A food journal can help you identify the offending food. That’s why keeping a section on how you feel after you eat is important, especially if you find yourself nauseous or ill in any way after eating. It can even save money on doctors visits, while eliminating the need for unnecessary medication.
- Studies show that journaled for three months, compared to those who didn’t, lost weight without going on a diet.
- Keeping a food journal is far easier now. Almost all phones have a memo section where you can voice record the food you eat and transfer it to a journal at the end of the day.
- Food journaling not only helps you count carbs and calories, it also tells you what nutrients you might be missing in meals or have too little of, such as healthy fat and protein.
- You’ll learn a lot about yourself from tracking your eating habits, including some information that will help you lose weight, such as why you overeat.