What if you can improve on your weight loss by changing just one of your habits?
Experts say that you can be encouraged to eat fewer calories by simply keeping a food journal.
Several studies show that people with good food journaling habits are more likely to lose weight more effectively.
A recent study shows that individuals who kept food journals for six days a week lost weight two times more than people who had records for just one day.
Read on to find out the benefits of food journaling and tips for developing good food journaling habits.
What is food journaling?
Food journaling is a simple act of keeping records of what you eat. A food journal is a kind of log that helps you to track the meals, beverages, snacks, and other food intakes.
Depending on individual choices, food journaling can be as detailed or vague as you’d like. Anybody, ranging from individuals to health professionals, can monitor a food journal.
Food journaling does not involve judging yourself or feeling ashamed. It is an excellent tool for you to support change for effective weight loss on the flip side.
Several tools are available for food journaling.
It may be in the form of tracking websites or apps, notebooks on PCs or phones, or paper diaries.
Regardless of your choice, keeping a food journal offers several benefits, which we’ll discuss in detail.
Benefits of food journaling for weight loss
Food journaling habits provide some level of consciousness on your intake patterns over time. An obesity study showed that food journals could help double a person’s weight loss.
Tracking your eating habits has several other benefits asides from weight loss.
It particularly helps you to recognize some of your unhealthy eating patterns. Also, you can be sure of a level of accountability over time.
Here are some of the essential benefits of food journaling:
1. It Creates Awareness
Sometimes when you have a busy schedule, you might want to munch on many things. You eat a piece of cake here, a small snack there, and a bottle of soda in between.
You may not be able to reflect on what you ate after the strenuous day. However, if you take time to keep a record, you’ll notice that you may have consumed more calories than you actually should.
2. Food Journaling Makes You More Accountable
Consistently keeping track of the food you eat will keep you on your toes. That is, you become more conscious of what you eat. That way, you may want to think twice before making certain eating decisions.
3. You Understand Your Eating Habits More
You probably think that your diet is entirely healthy. Are you sure you pay close attention to the balanced macronutrient ratio?
A food journal matches your perception with reality.
Writing down everything you eat will give you a sense of what your diet consists of.
That is, you will learn how much protein, fats, carbohydrates, and other nutrients you consume daily. Such information will help you reach your weight loss goal even faster.
4. You Learn How Much Calories You Eat Per Day
Cutting out calories is the goal of a weight loss routine. However, do you know how many calories you consume daily?
A food journal can help you with that, helping to reduce most of the calories with little effort.
5. A Food Journal Show Your Weight Loss Progress
A 2008 study involving 1,700 participants showed that a person’s weight loss could double by keeping a food diary.
This is true because you tend to have more information the more you keep track of your diet.
You can go back on your entries to work on which routine works well for you and which doesn’t. This is an excellent way to determine the healthy diet to stick with.
5 Tips for Developing Journal Habits for Weight Loss
Writing in a journal every day can be daunting. But trust us when we say that a practical journaling session is a great weight loss tool.
Here are some tips to successfully develop food journaling habits and fast track your weight loss process:
The first rule of keeping a food journal is, to be honest about it. You may feel guilty about that piece of cake you had today. Don’t worry, write it down.
Complete honesty in your documentation helps you to notice your eating trends quickly. That way, you can pick up on your records and take steps to make a change.
Keep Your Journal Close to You
Keeping your journal close to you at all times makes it easy for you to write things down as soon as they happen. Totaling up the day’s eating may be overwhelming.
Thus, you can write what you ate on the go and how you felt about it.
It would be best if you also made your journal travel-friendly or use mobile apps. You don’t want to be giving excuses for leaving your journal back at home while you’re on a trip.
Take a Picture of Yourself
Take weekly pictures of yourself and add them to your digital food journal. The changes you see tend to motivate you and serve as a reward for your efforts.
Go Straight to the Point
You need to be specific to keep an effective weight loss journal. It will help if you write down what you ate word for word.
Whenever you write, you should focus on the time of the day, the size of food you ate, and how you felt before and after eating.
This way, you get a good insight into your eating patterns, and you can make some important changes.
Try to Draft Your Next Day’s Munchies
Once you now have the habit of writing down all you eat and drink, consider drafting your next day munchies at the end of each day.
This little act of planning your meals and predicting what to eat will help you make healthier choices.
Good food journaling habits serve as a personal guide.
A food journal informs your future choices and habits. Keeping track of your eating habit will help you remain mindful of what you eat and accountable.
We have provided some effective tips to help you develop good food journaling habits.
Practice these consistently and do whatever inspires you to show up for yourself. It’s time for you to make that positive, healthy lifestyle change.