Food Journal for Success

One of the most effective ways to help get your health under control is to track what you eat.  Many people feel logging their meals into a food journal is a waste of time.  However, to make true strides in weight loss or whatever your health missions food journaling plays a vital role in your success.  In order to make change you must know where you are when it comes to eating.  Some people eat mindlessly and are surprised to discover how much they overeat when bored.  A food journal is like a window into your life as it relates to your eating habits.

A great incentive to keep a food journal on your weight loss journey is the accountability factor.  When you have to answer to yourself by writing down what you eat you often pause.  You begin to get a clearer picture of how much eating you really consume.  It is an eye opener and your relationship with food begins to shift and you question if you really need and want to eat that food item then write it down.

Food journal entries not only show what you eat, but how much of it.  Food volume is often out of control and we over consume at most meals.  Many eateries serve portion sizes that are out of control.  Those little extras really add up the calories and before you know it, you have taken in an additional 200 to 600 calories throughout your day.  Getting a handle on portion control is key to better weight management. What better way than with journaling your meals.  It remains an effective method to managing your health and weight.

As you embrace using a food journal you should include measuring your foods to help keep portions under control.  This helps you create a more accurate assessment of what you eat.  Include scales and measuring cups initially until you learn to eye-ball portion sizes to help keep you on the right track.  There is a difference between serving size and portion.  A serving is the amount recommended on the label; a portion is the amount you select based on how much you want.  A more accurate measuring method helps you better understand portions, suggested servings and how to keep it under control.

Food journals are not just about what we eat; they connect to our emotions based on the time of day and situation.  It is a good practice to write down the time and place you eat and even your feelings at that time.  That window into how you relate to foods ties into your emotional well-being.  If your meal or snack choice is a result of a stressful environment then stress shows signs of controlling your food choices.  Or possibly you wait extended periods before eating then make up for it by gorging.  Becoming aware of these types of habits help you learn this style of eating has more to do with your emotional state and not necessarily hunger.  Again, your food journal shows you who you are when it comes to situations other than hunger.

Another opportunity to discover overeating tendencies is where we eat.  Many eat while watching television or reading.  Both distractions encourage more eating.  When we eat, our brains need 20 minutes just to tell us we are full.  If we are distracted our brains could take even longer to let us know we are full so we can stop eating.  If we are not aware of what’s going into our mouths, we don’t process that information, we just keep eating.  Sitting down to your meal and just enjoying it without distractions often means you will enjoy it more and eat less.

Last, but not least, you must be honest with yourself.  That is the only way for progress to happen.  You grow so much in your food relationship when you learn what makes you eat and how much of it.  A food journal  is an amazing tool for your quest for greater health.  Based on how long you decide to keep a food journal you see your growth and changes made throughout the weeks or years you remain dedicated to writing it down.  It is one of the smartest approaches taken in eating healthier and getting nutrition under better control.

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