Why is it important to keep a Food Journal
Diva - 05 Feb 22
Many people want to make an improvement on their health and lifestyle - that often start in the kitchen and them making changes to what they eat. Most often than not, this only lasts about a week or two then people tend to give up. The one thing that can keep motivating you to stay on track would be to keep a food journal.
Can you benefit from keeping a food journal / diary?A food journal can be a useful tool in the process of losing weight. It can help you understand your eating habits and patterns, and help you identify the foods you are eating, the good and not-so-good. It can help you keep track of your meals so that you can eat on a regular basis and also consume the correct amount of calories for your weight loss goals. Research shows that for people interested in losing weight, keeping a journal can be a very effective tool to help change their behaviour. In one weight loss study of nearly 1,700 participants, those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records.
What should you include in a food diary?
What are you eating?Write down the specific foods and beverages that you are consuming and how it is prepared (baked, broiled, fried, etc.). Include any sauces, condiments, dressings, toppings and spices.
How much are you eating?
When are you eating?
Where are you eating?Record the specific place where you are consuming your food, whether it’s at the kitchen table, in your bedroom, in the car, walking down the street, at a restaurant, or at a friend’s home.
What else are you doing while eating?Are you on the computer, watching TV, or talking with a family member or a friend?
Who are you eating with?Are you eating with your spouse, children, friend, or a colleague, or are you alone?
How are you feeling as you’re eating?Are you happy, sad, stressed, anxious, lonely, bored, tired?
When you are writing in jour food journal Be as specific as you can with the food or beverage that you are having. For example, if you are drinking a latte, note the type of late and size that you are drinking. Another thing you need to remember is to Be sure to include any alcoholic beverages that you might consume. (These are packed with empty calories and sugars that you do not need whilst on a weight loss journey)
Something that can also assist you is A smartphone app like mynetdiary that can support your efforts. These kinds of apps also offer information on calories and other nutrients.
After you have kept a food diary, what should you do?
- How healthy is my diet really?
- Am I eating vegetables and fruit every day? If so, how many servings?
- Am I eating whole grains everyday?
- Am I eating foods or beverages with added sugar? If so, how frequently am I doing it?
- Do my moods affect my eating habits? Do I reach for unhealthy snacks when I’m tired or stressed or sitting on the couch watching TV?
- How often do I eat on the run?
Here are a few examples of SMART goals.
Food journal observation: You average two servings of vegetables per day.
Goal: Eat more vegetables.
SMART goal: Eat three servings of vegetables per day.
Food journal observation: You order takeout three or four nights per week.
Goal: Cook more at home.
SMART goal: Order take out no more than one or two nights per month.
Food journal observation: You eat healthy meals and snacks until about 3 pm, when you hit the office vending machine.
Goal: Eat healthier snacks.
SMART goal: Bring a healthy snack (a piece of fruit and a small handful of nuts) to work every day.
Keeping a food journal can be very informative and move you toward improving your health. Using the data from your food diary to make SMART changes, and continuing to track your progress, is a great place to start your journey for a healthier you. At the end of the day, only You can keep yourself accountable. When you start a healthy meal plan - from day 1, start your food journal and keep track of everything you are putting into your body.