Benefits of a food journal

Food Diary Can Keep You on Track

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just attempting to eat healthier, keeping a food journal can help you make positive changes. Writing down every snack, sip of soda, and carb that you consume will make you more accountable for what you are eating. Here are a few benefits of keeping a food diary.

Weight loss
Keeping a food diary can help reveal the unhealthy habits that are stopping you from losing weight. Writing down everything you eat will make you less likely to pick up the handful of M&M’s in the office or order the extra side of ranch for your salad. Often people forget about the little snacks that could potentially be keeping them from losing weight. Maintaining a food diary will help you say no to the extra calories that may be stunting your weight loss.

Detecting food intolerances
Food diaries can also help determine if you have a severe reaction to certain foods. In some cases, reactions to different foods can happen hours after the food has been consumed. Writing down what you eat and how you feel afterwards can help you realize what foods your body reacts negatively towards. If you feel bloated and nauseous after eating eggs, dairy, or gluten, then you may be intolerant to these foods.

Portion control
Keeping a food diary is also an excellent way to manage the portions of your food. It can be hard to control your portions when restaurants offer enormous plates, and gas stations have jumbo size cups for soda. Even cake tins and dinner plates are larger than ever. Using a food diary will keep you accountable for the size of your meals. Before starting your food diary do some research on the proper portion sizes, then base your meals off of the information you find.

Better nutrition
Keeping track of your every meal will reveal more than just calorie intake and food intolerances; it can also show whether you are eating enough of each food group. If your food diary consists of mainly carbohydrates and proteins, then you’re not getting the vitamins you need from fruits and vegetables. Keeping a food diary will allow you to analyze what foods you are not eating enough of, or which ones you’re eating too much.

Identifying triggers to unhealthy eating
It can be beneficial to jot down your location, time of day, and mood when keeping a food journal. Keeping track of these things can reveal how stress, work, or certain people affect your food choices. For example, if you reach for a candy bar each time you enter the office, then stressful environments may cause you to crave sugary foods. If you eat every meal standing up, then you’re probably rushing and eating more calories than if you sat down and took your time. Using a food diary to note certain triggers will help you get rid of the unhealthy habits.  

Now that you know some of the benefits to keeping a food journal, manage your progress easily  by using an app. There are some free apps available such as MyFitnessPal or WW (Weight Watchers).

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