One way to get to know your eating habits better and improve your diet is by food journaling. This is particularly important for those trying to achieve their ideal weight. Self-monitoring has been shown to promote weight loss, if you stay consistent. Food journaling helps you build a good relationship with food, learn the basics of mindful eating and become a more intuitive dieter.
We all know that journaling allows us to release feelings and thoughts that take up space in our minds, and it is not only about our relationships, jobs, and overall life. The thoughts about the food we put in our bodies can clutter our brains as well. If you have never tried food journaling before, it may be a great time to start. Here’s why:
1. Food journaling can double your weight loss
A study conducted by the Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research in Portland found that keeping a food journal doubles diet weight loss. According to a study, the more food records you keep, the more weight you lose. That’s all because you keep track of when and what you drink and eat, reducing your risk of overeating or skipping meals.
2. You reflect on how you are feeling after each meal
When it comes to dieting, the time of day plays a significant role in how effectively and fast you lose pounds. Food journaling helps you reflect on how you are feeling after each meal and what you should change about your eating habits.
It also allows you to reflect on your cravings and find a way to fight them. Diet often requires experiments. Food journaling allows you to compare all those experiments to figure out what works best for your body.
3. You pay attention to your food intolerances
I do agree, people take food intolerances too high these days. But if you experience skin rashes, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, irritable bowel, chronic fatigue or insomnia, these might be the symptoms of food intolerance. A research suggests that food intolerance is linked to a number of illnesses. When you track what you put in your body, you notice what food is making you sick.
More: 10 Fixes for the Most Common Eating Problems
4. You record how your body responds to a certain meal plan
And this helps you create an eating plan that will be ideal for you. It is hard to do the diet tweaks when you don’t record. After all, do you remember what you ate for lunch or dinner a week ago? Yesterday? With our busy lifestyles, it’s easy to forget what you did in the morning today, not to mention what you ate. This is where a simple food journal may help us.
5. Food journaling helps you remember other daily activities
Why not take your food journaling to the next level and make it a versatile lifestyle journal? Include all the events happening during the day and see which one of them affects your weight loss. Maybe it’s your boss’s negative feedback that makes you munch on chocolate bars all day long or it’s your partner who seems to never stop comparing you to Jessica Alba. Or, your mom who makes your favorite meals that are jam-packed with calories despite all your weight loss complaints. Who knows?
6. You track your sugar intake
A study says that consumption of excess sugar can contribute to weight gain while another research found the strongest link between obesity and high sugar consumption. Food journaling will remind you that sugar is your “enemy” and you should eat less than 25 grams of it per day, according to the World Health Organization. It can also remind you to keep your sodium intake at bay. The findings show that dietary sodium consumption may be associated with obesity as well.
More: 8 Crucial Reasons to Give Up Sugar
Food journaling gives you clarity in your eating habits, help you make smart food choices and become a step closer to your ideal weight. It may be daunting at first, but as soon as you start, you will hopefully get into a habit of tracking your food intake in a short period of time.