Jotting down everything you eat throughout the day can unlock so many clues as to what foods work best for you, and what foods may have a negative effect that you haven’t noticed until now. I want to talk with you about food journal benefits and what you can discover by recording what you eat!
It can be as simple as carrying a small notebook with you, or even as quick as downloading a Food Journal app on your phone to keep track. There are many great ones to choose from if you search for “food journaling” in your phone’s app store.
Here’s what you’ll discover about yourself when you start keeping a food journal.
You’ll Solve That Mysterious Question, “Why Do I Eat if I’m Not Hungry?”
To be successful at food journaling, you need to get to the root of why you’re eating what you’re eating, and why you’re even eating at all. When you jot down all the foods you eat, make sure you’re writing down the times, how hungry you are before eating it, and how full you feel afterward. What you’ll discover is very telling.
Many people spot the pattern that they eat on cue even when not hungry due to some other stimulus, like watching TV. When you catch that clue, you can change your behavior and stop the habit in its tracks. For me, the tendency to snack comes when watching a webinar, so I have a large glass of water at hand and take notes to keep my hands busy.
Food Journal Benefits to See How Much You’re Actually Eating
It’s not solely about the food on your plate. Eating can sometimes be a mindless activity, which is why food journaling helps to increase awareness when eating. Take note of your meals – not just what you fill your plate with but how much of it. Merely writing “veggie stir fry” won’t give you any clues later, especially if you neglected to write down that you ate two bowls full. Snacks can be a vortex for mindless eating. Don’t snack directly out of a large bag – serve a portion and put the bag away.
You’ll See How Fast You Eat with Food Journaling
Consuming food too quickly can hinder digestion by putting the body in “fight or flight” mode. Either it leads to digestive woes (hello, heartburn!) or you feel mostly unsatisfied because you’ve wolfed down your food and those you’re dining with are still eating. By recognizing this pattern through your food journaling, you’ll be able to take better control.
You’ll Discover How You Really Feel
After hearing many stories from clients, I’ve realized we choose what to eat based on taste and smell and seldom based on how it makes us feel. This is a crucial part of food journaling. For example, headaches seem to be a part of life, but they are often caused by foods we’re consuming, and we’re not realizing the connection. So taking note of how you feel after eating, and keeping this laid out in your food journal, will help you see patterns that you may be completely unaware of at this moment. After you eat, think about if you feel – are you refreshed and energetic, unmotivated and fatigued, uncomfortable in any way? Taking notes on how the food you eat impacts your life will help you make better choices.
Perception is a huge factor in living a balanced, healthy life. You might very well think you’re on the right track, but keeping a food journal will show you where you stray and where any unseen harmful patterns are hiding.
Are You Journaling?
Have you ever kept a food journal? If not, are you excited about starting one? Leave a comment and let me know what’s on your mind with your eating habits!