I know, I know...who wants to take the time to write down everything they’re putting in their mouth?Well, there are a few reasons why you shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss this extremely HELPFUL tactic!Sure, this may seem like a cumbersome chore, but it’s simple and can lead to amazing results!
If you’re held accountable for writing down EVERYTHING you’re consuming, you’ll be more likely to think twice about what you’re putting into your mouth.Suddenly, that cookie won’t seem so appealing.Jotting down what you’re eating becomes a game of sorts, one that you don’t want to “lose” by having to write down the “bad” things.
Aside from the extra attack of conscience, a food journal/log will give you all the insights you need into why you’re feeling what you’re feeling and when.Are you hitting that 3:00pm wall?If so, what are you eating for lunch?What are you grabbing for that 2 o’clock snack?Drinking enough water?I bet that food log will tell you what the culprit is.It’ll show you your triggers, habits, patterns, etc.Also, writing down how you’re feeling at certain points during the day will be helpful, too.
Being aware of everything you’re consuming, writing everything down, knowing how you’re feeling - all these things will help you on your fitness and wellness journey.
Never kept a food log before?Not to worry, here are some tips for food log success:
Commit to at least 7 days - to get an accurate assessment of your eating habits, you need at least a few days a week (including one weekend day), but an entire week is even better.You’ll get a sense of how many calories you’re typically eating and then you can workout how many calories you should be eating to help you reach your goal.If you want to establish new habits, keep logging.Want to take it even further, stick with it for at least a month!
Log as you eat - it’s easy to forget the details of a meal when relying on memory, so if you absolutely do not have time to log it immediately, take a photo.You can also use alarms and set reminders to encourage you to log your food at regular meal times, until logging becomes a habit.
Feel free to plan ahead - use food logging to meal plan!If you know what you’re going to eat for breakfast all week, log it beforehand.It’ll make the process faster AND you’ll be more likely to stick to your healthy eating plan if it’s already recorded.
Look for patterns - take note of other triggers and behaviors linked to your eating.Do you eat something every time you walk into the kitchen?Is 3:00pm when you reach for the candy?Does stress or a deadline cause you to reach for junk food?By spotting patterns around when, where, and why you eat certain foods, you can develop strategies to prevent them from recurring, and start working towards a healthier you.
BE HONEST - log every morsel you eat and drink.Yes, even the milk in your coffee.The more detail you provide, the more accurate the data will be.There is zero judgement, guilt, or shame.There’s only the satisfaction of knowing you’re that much closer to your goals!
No matter what, embrace the food logging process and tackle it with a positive attitude and it will work in your favor!