A Food Journal Can Help You Excel at Healthier Nutrition Habits

A food journal can help you build healthier nutrition habits

Sure, you’ve been given the advice to keep a food journal in your efforts to lose weight. It’ll help you eat less calories, right? But if you’re like so many others, those long days of calorie counting are starting to become a little tedious. And you’re just not here for it.

Beyond Calories

You probably won’t be surprised to hear, however, that weight-loss and nutrition cover a large range of other related topics. Calorie counting isn’t the only part of the equation, after all. What about portion sizes? Emotional eating? Or even emotional restriction?

Time and time again, seemingly health “experts” (including physicians!) dish out the age-old adage to “eat less, move more.” Decades of this monotonous advice have ingrained in us the idea that weight-loss is inherently simple — and that weight gain, conversely, is entirely our fault. Cue the emotional battle with our weight that so often leaves us feeling like out-of-control failures.

And when it boils down to nutrition, we’re left thinking if we’d just log less calories, in a food journal or not, we’d be better off. But that doesn’t always work, does it?

6 Things a Food Journal Can Teach You about Yourself and Nutrition

Well, maybe you’re doing it wrong. If you’re keeping a food journal just to calorie count (or not using one at all), you may be missing out on a host of other unique health benefits.

Your Reason for Eating

Not all of us eat only when we’re hungry, and a food journal can help you understand why. During or after mealtimes, write down what compelled you to eat. You might find that it was actually boredom, stress, anger, sadness, or a simple habit that triggered you to whip up a tasty dish.

Patterns in Your Behavior

Humans are creatures of habit, even if we don’t always know it. Journaling your food-related behaviors can help you see unhealthy patterns that affect your weight, like frequent nights out with friends or busy evenings when you don’t have time to cook a healthy meal.

Your Portion Sizes

Portion sizes go hand-in-hand with calories, and the problem usually lies in the fact that many of us consume more than we think we do. Recording your food intake can force you to pay closer attention and give you a reality check (even if it’s a little painful).

The Way You Eat

Ask yourself, “How many times have I devoured a whole bag of chips while watching TV or going on a long car ride?” This type of journaling can help you identify whether or not you’re eating mindfully, or alert you to a need to slow down so your food has more time to digest.

Impact of Certain Foods

Few of us may close attention to the way we feel after we eat, but those experiences can help us make healthier decisions beforehand. Do certain foods give you stomach pain or heartburn? Spike your blood sugar or leave you emotionally regretful? Heed these cues.

Ready to get started keeping (and maintaining) a food journal? CLICK HERE for helpful tips.

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