Recording your food intake is useful if you are trying to lose weight or are investigating digestive issues. Keeping a food journal makes you much more aware of what goes into your body. Awareness is the first step to change. You are much more likely to lose weight if you know what you are eating.
Not only that, but you can record the times you eat, and how you felt before and after. This provides much insight into the emotional and psychological reasons of your eating, (i.e., when you are not merely eating to fuel your body), and whether certain foods affect your digestive system, mood or energy levels.
You may have tried to keep a food journal before and failed after a few days. The good news is, it doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming.
1: Keep your journal with you. You will be more accurate and timely with your recording if you have access to your journal. Either buy a notebook or specifically designed food journal and keep it in your purse or download an app to your phone.
2: Record your food immediately. If you try and remember what you ate a few hours later or even at the end of the day, you will most likely forget something. Record your food intake and any other information at the time of eating to save time and be more accurate.
3: Plan ahead. If you know what you are going to eat that day, write it in beforehand. That way, you will be more likely to stick to your healthy meal plan as you know that you have all your macros planned out for the day.
4: Set yourself goals and rewards. Just like planning ahead will help you to stay on track, if you set a daily goal with a juicy reward, you are much more likely to fill in the journal. Perhaps your goal is to drink eight glasses of water or to hit the gym after work. Schedule it into your journal, tick it off when it is complete, and enjoy your reward.
Note: Rewards should be something non-food related and ideally based around self-care. Reading a few pages of an inspirational book, having a hot bubble bath, booking a massage, or going for a nature walk are all great choices. Choose something that makes you feel great and smash those goals to enjoy it.
A food journal is a great way to increase awareness around your dietary intake, why you eat, and how your food makes you feel. Stick to it by making it readily available, recording immediately, planning ahead, and setting goals and rewards. You'll be reaping the benefits in no time.
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