Many people want to improve their health and well-being and a great start to this is in them changing what they eat. A food journal is a great tool for this process. It helps identify good foods and those that aren’t. It helps you know what you eat regularly. A secret to successfully keeping a food journal is being accurate and consistent. A basic food diary includes:

  • What you are eating: Write down the specific foods that you consume and how they are prepared.
  • How much you are eating: List the number of foods in household measures like cups, teaspoons, ounces, or portions.
  • When are you eating: Knowing the time you eat can help you identify bad times for eating and know if you eat food late at night. Note the time of day that you eat to help identify your eating patterns.
  • Portion size; Write down the specific amount of what is consumed such as a 20-ounce bag of chips, a cup of ice cream, or a tablespoon of butter.
  • Place: Knowing where you eat is a good idea. Is it in front of your TV, in your car, how often do you eat in fast-food restaurants? Do you eat while sitting, standing, multitasking? Identify where and how you eat to make appropriate changes.
  • Hunger level: Your hunger level helps you know why you eat and how much is eaten. Many eat when they aren’t hungry. Many people do not stop eating when they are satisfied. They stop when they are full.
  • Mood: Being mindful of how you feel before, during, and after you eat will help you identify why you eat. Do you overeat at night? Do you mindlessly eat? Do you skip meals? Do you eat late at night? Do you eat when you are lonely? Do you eat when you are bored? A food journal can help you identify what triggers unhealthy eating.

Being accountable for what you eat can make a lot of difference if you want to live a happy and healthy life. The reasons why people keep a food journal include:

  • Identifying why: A food journal can help you answer why you eat what you do. Why do you choose burgers over fruits? Why do you buy certain foods? It helps to take note of your stomach satisfaction, energy levels and connects what you eat to your well-being. Knowing these will help change your eating habits.
  • Eliminate mindless eating: Sometimes people are unaware of how much they consume when they are distracted by everyday activities. Mindless eating makes people consume a lot more than they should. A food journal will help with self-discipline and self-control by acknowledging that you overeat when distracted by others or tasks.
  • A balanced reality: You may think that you eat a balanced diet or drink lots of water but a food journal can dissuade you from that notion by showing you’re the truth. With a food journal, you will realize that you need more varieties to your meals and you need to do better with what you put into your body. Having a cbd joint in your diet can be beneficial. It may reduce arthritis, depression, sleep disorder, nausea, and cancer.
  • Losing weight: Studies show that people who keep food journals lose more weight than those that don’t. A detailed account of what you eat will help you keep track of your goal to lose weight. It will hold you accountable for what you eat.

Tips you could follow to keep a successful food journal are:

  • Write down what you eat or drink as soon as you consume it. This will ensure accuracy and the unlikelihood that you will forget what you consumed if you wait till the end of the day before you journal it.
  • Be specific about what you eat or drink.
  • Smartphone apps like MyFitnessPal and Lose It! can help support your food journaling effort as they offer information on nutrients and calories.

After you have kept a food journal for a week you can step back and analyze all you have consumed. The importance of a food journal is immense. It helps to consider questions like:

  • How healthy is your diet?
  • Are you adequately eating fruits and vegetables?
  • Do you take whole grains?
  • Does your mood affect what you eat?
  • How frequently do you take beverages with added sugar?

You have to be accurate and consistent when you want to keep a food journal. Tell the truth as you gain nothing if you are lying to yourself. You can share your food journal with your doctor for it to be reviewed or for them to make changes that will help you live a healthier life. The questions you can ask your doctor include:

  • What apps can help you keep a food journal?
  • How long should you keep a food journal?
  • What will you find out when you review the food journal?

The act of writing what you can impact the food that you eat. Research shows that you eat food of high quality and you eat less when you keep a food journal. Persons that keep food journals consume fewer calories which leads to an increase in weight loss. A food journal makes us aware of our food and drink choices. It encourages us to be mindful of what we consume. A food journal is a valuable tool and it is recognized by medical professionals, dietitians, therapists and, health coaches.

Shahid Raza

Shahid Raza has been writing for magazines and newspapers since 2010, and editing and managing websites.