A food journal is something that you keep records of your daily food or beverage intake. It’s just like having your own diary involving your diet that is quantified and qualified in terms of the caloric component and the number of servings you had.
A food journal is essential for people who have diet restrictions in order to monitor whether they have been eating prohibited foods. Most commonly, people with food intolerances or allergies are the ones who need to keep food journals. However, those who want to lose weight should also keep a food journal when they want effective results. In fact, a recent study involving obese women found that writing down what you ate or drank is the number one reason for weight loss success. Also, food journals are best for people with metabolic disorders such as diabetes because health care providers can link your diet and activity to your present symptoms.
Well, even normal individuals with no food allergies, food intolerances and who are not overweight may actually keep a food journal on their own. On the most basic level, food journals ensure a healthier diet because you are able to look into the food items that you consumed and try to eradicate any unhealthy foods on your next meal plan.
How to Keep a Food Journal?
To start having a healthier diet, keep all these points in mind:
• Have your own food journal. It can be a nice notebook or a DIY journal made from used papers if you are economical.
• Allot a page in your food journal for your diet each day. You may need this space to discuss how the food was prepared, the condiments and toppings use and others.
• Be honest with what you document. Putting things there just to show you are eating healthy defeats the purpose of a food journal. You must be able to see what you have been really eating to determine if you are eating healthily or not.
• Record everything that you have eaten and drank immediately in your food journal.
Recording your food and beverage consumptions should be:
• Consistent: Once you have started keeping a food diary, you must be able to record your food intake every day.
• Accurate: Record the specific food component and how many servings did you have such as one serving of vegetables. If you are unsure about the number of servings quantify them such as 1 cup of vegetables.
• Complete: Aside from quantifying your food intake, you must be able to list completely what’s included in your meal such as the toppings, any additives or condiments used.
• Aside from recording what you ate; take note of what you are doing while eating such as reading a book, watching TV and the like.
• Describe your emotions while eating such as are you happy, angry, nervous, sad, or starving?
• At the end of the day, assess your food intake in terms of:
• Are your servings complete?
• Did you eat a balanced meal? (Should contain all food groups in the food pyramid)
• Were you satisfied with your food?
• How many calories have you consumed? (This is the purpose for quantifying your food intake. There are available resources online to check how much calories are contained with the amount of food that you have eaten.)
How do I make it Easier?
Keeping a food journal may be taxing especially if it’s your first time to have one. Various apps for your smartphone and online sites are already available to make things easier for you.
Well, keeping a food journal is very beneficial if you really want to stay as healthy as possible when it comes to your food intake.