Are you ready to improve your health by changing the way you eat? This is a wonderful goal, but it can be difficult to achieve. We recommend using a food journal to help you in this process. In fact, research indicates that people who keep a daily record of their food intake lose up to twice as much weight as those who don’t keep records. Here, we look at some of the ways that keeping a food journal can be beneficial.
What is a food journal? It’s a record of the food you eat daily, with specifics about what and how much you’re eating, and when you’re eating it. You’ll write down the specific foods and beverages you’re eating and how they’re prepared, listing the amount in household measures. Noting the time can help you notice when you’re eating at a time that could be problematic. If you want to go into further details, you can include where you’re eating, whether it’s your kitchen table, a restaurant, a friend’s home, your sofa or in the car. You can also note who you’re eating with and how you are feeling, along with details about what else you’re doing while you’re eating.
What does the practice of food journaling accomplish?
1. It provides a reminder of what you’ve eaten during the day.
2. It can help you to track calories.
3. It can show you if you’re eating too much or too little.
4. It can give you insight on the time of day you are usually hungry, so that you can adjust your eating schedule.
5. It can help you notice times that you eat out of boredom or another emotion instead of hunger.
6. It offers you an awareness of your eating habits, so you’ll see what you need to improve.
All of this can add up to mindful eating. Mindfulness is just another word for awareness, and mindful eating can be a very healthy practice. When you journal for the purpose of mindfulness, you’ll notice:
1. Why you make the choices you do. Do you eat when you’re happy? How about when you’re bored? Why do you choose chocolate over fruit? What foods make you feel full? When you can gain an understanding of your habits, you’ll be better able to manage them.
2. How your dining companions affect your eating habits. Do you eat more when you’re alone, or when you’re with others? Noticing can help you make necessary changes.
3. How often you eat without thinking about it. Often, we eat while distracted, without really enjoying or even noticing our food. Recognize when you do this, so that you can make a point to pay attention.
4. How your perceptions match up with reality. You may be surprised, once you start journaling, to realize that your diet is not as healthy as it should be. When you write down everything you eat, it will become clear where you need to make adjustments.
Food journaling can be a powerful tool in the fight for fitness, and so can the right fitness club. At the Wellbridge Family of Athletic Clubs, we offer world-class training that keeps up-to-date with the latest in health and wellness. At our clubs, you’ll be greeted by our friendly team before you’re challenged and motivated by top-notch instructors in our fitness classes. You’ll make new friends because you belong here. Join today or contact us to learn more.