If you’re like many of my Florida clients, you probably never considered food journals as a technique to shed weight. It’s worth a try because it not only helps you stick with a diet program, it tells a lot about what’s causing the weight gain. The catch is that it takes some time, but you can make it easier. With Smartphones today, there’s a lot of help. Making a recording of everything you eat is one way, sending yourself a text or just using the notes area to jot down what you eat and transferring that information to the official list at the end of the day can make it a lot easier.
It’s more than just for weight loss, it’s also for health.
There’s so many different chemicals in food and changes to the actually food itself—like hybridization—that often people find they get sick after eating with no idea why. Keeping a food journal with information on how you felt after a meal can help you track down the actual food that is the culprit. There are more people today suffering from gluten intolerance and one of the reasons may be the change in the grain. Almost all the wheat that exists today comes from a hybrid that was created in the 1960s, which contains more gluten than previous varieties of wheat. Identifying what makes you sick and avoiding it can help you live a fuller, healthier life.
You’ll learn about portion size if you’re going to journal.
Portion size is important. Knowing that a portion of meat is about the size of a deck of cards. When you consider the serving size is 8 ounces or more, about twice the 3 to 4 ounce serving size, you can understand how portion control is important. Sure, according to the menu it’s one portion, but not according the actual portion size you should eat. Knowing portion size helps you evaluate just how much you’ve eaten. Learning it can help food journaling and you, by aiding in weight loss efforts.
You’ll be amazed at what you learn about your eating habits.
You’ll get a lot of information from journaling, whether it’s what circumstances cause you to eat, the foods that make you feel bad or how much you actually eat. If you’re adding things like how you felt right before you ate a food or right after, it also helps. You can learn your triggers for unhealthy foods and what makes you turn to comfort foods. Some people stress eat. Recognizing it is the first step to conquering it.
- You’ll also identify the foods you fail to eat. If you think you’re getting adequate vegetables or more than enough green leafy ones, you might be surprised when you keep a food journal.
- Just tracking your food makes you more aware of what you eat. In fact, some people find that when they keep a food journal, they start questioning whether they’re really hungry before eating a snack they have to record.
- You’ll learn a lot about your dietary habits and even may find it isn’t your metabolism to blame for your weight. It may be small handfuls of snacks you eat without thinking. One study shows that people who kept a journal were more likely to lose weight even if they didn’t diet.
- Don’t forget to track what you drink, too. A serving of soft drink can add 100 calories. If you drink several in a day, it can add up to a weight gain in a week or two.