31 Jul Food journal, the key to success?
Throughout history societies view of an “ideal” body has changed drastically. Ranging from full-figured and rounded to extremely thin. As our society continues to evolve so does the perception of the ideal body. Lucky for us, the most recent trends have been focused around ideal ways to optimize your health.
With the constant evolution of food and what is “healthy”, it can be hard to keep up. However, one thing we can track is how our body reacts to certain foods and what is best for it. This brings me to the food journal also known as a food diary. A food journal is most commonly used for aiding in weight loss however those that keep an active food journal know there are several additional benefits that come with it.
Considering everyone has their own variation of what a food journal or diary is, it is important to point out that not all are the same or designed with the same intentions, but overall a food journal is a place where you can log the food you consume during the day. This can include additional elements like time of day, who you were with, how you were feeling when you ate and how you felt after.
At first thought, this may seem daunting to track everything you eat in a day however with all the technology around us this could be easier than you think. Below we explore how to get started with keeping a found journal and the benefit that can come from it.
Find what works for you! There are endless ways to track your food through the day, so it is important to find a way that works for you and something that you will stick to long term. Here are some ways to try:
- Technology: There are several free apps that will assist in tracking not only food but workouts and behaviors. A household favorite is MyFitnessPal. Or even take notes in your phone on what you are eating through the day.
- Written: Try to keep a notebook at your desk, by your bed or in your bag. Scribbling down what you are eating as you are eating it is a great way to make sure nothing gets left out. If you need more guidance food journals can be found at almost any book store or you can often find free templates to download offline.
- Photos: Nowadays everyone has their phone on them so try using it for your health. Take a photo of every meal you eat and then reflect on the choices you made at the end of the night.
More Than Food:
Once you have found a tracking method that is working for you, try taking it to the next level.
- When you eat: Tracking this can point out the inconsistencies in your diet or why you may be feeling hungry or unsatisfied with your diet.
- Why you’re eating: Are you so hungry you can’t stand it or are you bored. Or maybe you are sad or stressed. There are many reason people turn to food so keeping track may help point out habits you didn’t even know you had.
- Who you’re with: Are you alone or out with friends? You may notice your habits change depending on who you are with. Keep a journal will allow you to recognize these patterns.
This is your food journal and you are committed to helping yourself so don’t cheat yourself. Always count that one cookie or recognizing that you nibbled all through cooking dinner, having the ability to acknowledge this will give you a more complete picture. And in being honest with yourself you may even find you eat better on your own because you are holding yourself accountable.
Review and Reset:
Once you have made some progress with your food journal review it. Try to recognize habits you didn’t know you had, for example maybe you didn’t realize every time you got annoyed you ate a cookie. Maybe you will realize every Wednesday morning you feel sluggish or tired but you now realize because on Tuesdays you always meet a coworker for lunch and eat an unhealthy meal. Once you are able to see patterns and recognize how your body and mind react you can start to change and rework these patterns with healthier alternatives. Another approach is to add calorie values. Tracking calories can really come in handy when you are trying to lose weight because very few people realize how little bites add up to big calories.
Now get out there and conquer your health goals today!
Did you know FITTEAM has a meal plan? You may find it is guilt-free when logging into your food journal. Download the meal plans for free HERE.