Why You Need to Keep a Food Journal
1. You don’t know what you are eating until you see it all listed
List every single item- every condiment you put on your salad, every sip of juice you drink, ever bite of left overs. Those “little bites” can add up! By not writing down that 1 snack size snicker you had, you are missing 60 calories, a sliver of cake can be almost 100 calories. write it all down.
When you are being forced to write down everything you eat, it makes you think for a second about whether or not you really want to eat it. For even more accountability, ask a close friend to be your support! Send each other your food journals! Then think, if sally sees that I ate this, and she knows i am trying to lose weight, what will she think!
I’m not saying that that little sliver of cake is bad every once in a while, but at least you’ll be having that accountability to really see that you are only having it once in a while, and when it fits within your calorie range for the day.
3. To see your patterns
You can look back at your food journal to see any patterns in your diet that you may not notice. If you are keeping a food journal correctly, you’ll be able to see if you are skipping meals, eating when you aren’t hungry, eating too late in the evening, or not getting enough protein leaving you feeling hungry and cranky all the time.
Now you know why you need to use a food journal! Will you use one?
How to Use:
Keeping a daily food record is the only way to keep track of what you are eating, when, and where you need to make changes in your diet. We often think we are eating really well until we have physically seen how much we are putting into our mouths throughout the day.
Keep track of every single bite you take, every handful of chips, and every sip of juice you may take. Be as accurate and descriptive as you can. Include toppings, dressings, dips, sides, etc. Include when you dine out, when you skip meals, or when you are eating on the go.
Be as accurate as you can with your portion sizes and how much you consume. If you eat a whole bag of chips, WRITE IT DOWN! If you have a handful of nuts, WRITE IT DOWN! If you share a piece of cake, WRITE IT DOWN!
Soon you will see patterns in your diet, where extra calories in your diet are coming from, and where you can make improvement.
Try to follow these basic guidelines:
- Eat every 3-4 hours- Small meals and sensible snacks.
- Breakfast should be eaten within 1-2 hours of waking up. If you aren’t usually a breakfast eater, get in the habit of doing so now.
- Stop eating 2-3 hours before going to bed.
- This is only for you to see. Be honest and truthful!