Accountability is a huge part of success when it comes to losing weight. Having someone to answer to, even if that person is yourself, is motivating and will keep you on track in your efforts. One of the greatest ways to be accountable to yourself is by keeping a food journal. Your interpretation of a food journal is entirely personal. You may use it purely as a means of keeping track of what you eat and drink on a daily basis, or as a place to record your thoughts and feelings as you journey through your quest to lose weight, or both.
The benefits of regularly keeping a food journal include:
For many people, just knowing that they are going to have to write down everything that they put in their mouth is a fantastic deterrent for overindulging. If you know that you are going to have to record exactly what you eat and when, you are much less likely to continuously snack, or sneak that extra helping at a meal. A food journal acts as your form of culinary confession, making sure that you are aware each time you choose to eat something.
It is important that at the end of each day you carefully review everything that you have recorded in your food journal. This will keep you will keep you aware of what you are eating on a daily basis, and ensure that you are getting the right balance of nutrients in your diet. Reviewing your food journal at the end of the day can also make you aware of patterns in your eating that you may not have noticed before. This is especially true if you are also recording how you are feeling before and after you eat.
Using a food journal to be aware of yourself is a fantastic way to take note of potential emotional motivations for the food choices that you make throughout the day. After several days of recording what and when you eat, as well as how you are feeling during the process, you may start to notice patterns of the types of food that you choose at certain stressful points of the day, or when you are dealing with particular emotions. Knowing these things can help you to confront these tendencies so that you can make wiser choices the next time you face a similar situation.
Just as the use of food journals varies from person to person, the type of journal that is used varies as well. Your food journal should be something that you are comfortable using on a regular basis, meaning it is something you should be able to carry with you and fit in to your daily life without creating too much of a hassle. You can use a simple notebook and pen, but there are also many apps available that allow you to record all of your eating information directly into your handheld device. For many people this is a much better option, as they don’t have another thing to think about carrying and are able to access the information more quickly and with greater organization.