If you’re struggling to lose weight and think you barely eat, keeping food journals may help you identify the problem. People on the go often grab small snacks throughout the day without thinking. They all add up, particularly since many of the snacks are high in carbs and calories. Keeping a food journal helps you identify the healthiness of your diet, the amount of calories you eat, whether you’re an emotional eater and can help to identify the reasons you don’t feel good, especially if the doctor says it’s a mystery.
It can be simple or more informative.
You can keep a simple food journal by voice recording what you eat every time you snack or eat a meal. You do have to know approximate amounts, so it’s important to learn simple ways to judge. A handful, the size of your thumb and the size of a deck of cards are simple ways to do that. Some people take a picture of the food before they eat it. At the end of the day, all this information is put in one journal, sometimes using emojis or symbols to make it easier. One study compared people who kept a food journal to those that didn’t. It showed those who journaled for three months lost weight without going on a diet, while the others didn’t lose weight.
You can include things like your mood.
Crunchy foods are often a way of letting off steam when you’re angry. Soft, comfort foods are ways to feel better when life let you down. If you record your mood in your journal, you can identify cues that make you eat certain foods or overeat. Not only will it help you control your habit of “eating your feelings,” it also can help you identify problems so you can work on solving them and not just stuffing them down with food.
A food journal can help you identify foods that simply don’t agree with you.
At one time, lactose intolerance wasn’t a known issue and people were in and out of the doctor’s office with digestive distress. Some doctors even considered it a potential ulcer and treated it with a high cream diet—the treatment of choice at the time. Once it was discovered, it opened the door to getting real relief for those people. Massive gas problems, cramping, diarrhea and other digestive issues disappeared when the person stopped milk products. Gluten intolerance is another issue that’s recent. You may have other types of issues with food. Some are digestive issues, but that’s not the only way a food can affect the body. It can cause shortness of breath, breakouts and other problems. A food diary can help you see the patterns and identify the problematic foods.
- If you’re an emotional eater and can’t avoid the problems that cause the consumption of extra calories, you can find another way to deal with it, like running in place. You can also find a food substitute. Instead of chips, opt for a crunchy apple.
- Don’t forget to record what you drink as well. If you have a soft drink, it may contain upward of a hundred calories. A Mocha Frappuccino is about 500 calories. Record every food and drink.
- If you’re using your food journal to identify allergies or food intolerance, don’t forget to take it with you to the doctor’s office. It contains extra information that can give your doctor more insight into your overall health.
- Food journaling can help you by letting you see just how much you actually eat. You do have to track every bite you take, which also makes you more aware of when and how much food you’re actually eating.
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