If you’re trying to lose weight, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t keep a food journal. It’s a proven weight loss method, and it helps you become focused and plan your meals accordingly. If you’re still on the fence, here are five reasons to start your food journal today.
1. Forces You to Analyze Your Diet
One of the main benefits of keeping a food journal is that it forces you to analyze your diet. Often, we eat without thinking about it, which means that we munch throughout the day without really knowing what we’re putting into our mouth. With a food journal, this type of mindless eating is recorded, and you’re finally able to see exactly the type of food that you’re eating on a daily basis. This is very important information when weight loss is the goal.
2. Gives You the Opportunity to Reflect on What’s Working
Another important benefit of keeping a weight loss journal that it gives you the opportunity to reflect on what does and does not work for you. For instance, you may be recording that you’re eating a little over 2000 calories a day, and yet you’re still gaining weight. By keeping a food journal, you can look at the types of foods you’re eating, as well as the time of day that you’re eating them.
This information, combined with stats on your exercise regimen can help you to learn what foods are more effective for your weight loss journey. The best way to analyze this is to keep a journal that logs every single thing that you eat, as well as all of the activity that you perform each day.
3. Reveals Emotional Eating Patterns
Food journals can help you uncover emotional eating patterns. In order to get this right, you should record your feelings in addition to your food.
For instance, if you’re recording your lunch time activity, you should also input how you feel during that time. If you’re upset at your boss, it may explain why you had a candy bar instead of that piece of fruit you took with you to work. Emotional eating affects a lot of people, and can definitely have a negative impact on your weight loss. Being able to monitor this is very important, and effective in achieving your goals.
4. Helps You Set Realistic Nutrition and Fitness Goals
With a detailed food journal, you can set realistic goals about your weight loss. Looking at your habits over a period of time can help you decide if you will be able to lose that extra 50 pounds within the next few months, or if you will need additional time because you have “little hiccups” in your food choices. This is not a bad thing, and in fact, people who keep journals and use them in this matter are more successful at weight loss than their counterparts.
5. Helps With Meal Planning and Calorie Counting
One of the more common but important benefits of a food journal is that it can help with meal planning and calorie counting. Looking back over what you eat is a good way to plan for future meals. For example, if you recorded that your heaviest meal is dinner, and that you feel sluggish after dinner, then you can plan to have a heavier meal towards the middle of the day, and a lighter meal towards the end of the day. Your food journal will also reveal the amount of calories that you consume each week.
There are several benefits to keeping a food journal, and this is definitely a proven weight loss method. Yes, it does take some time to record everything, but it helps in the long run because you will have a clear understanding of your eating habits, and what triggers you to reach for the unhealthy foods. In the end, a food journal is not only good for weight loss, but for monitoring your overall health.