Benefits of Using a Food Journal
- Accountability to anyone you show it to (even if it’s just to yourself)
- A track-record of what does or does not work for you
- A sure-fire way to think twice about that second piece of cake
- Provides you with a self-control mechanism. 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.
- Provides you with a reference point to 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.
- Emotional Support-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.
- Allergies and Sensitivities: Keeping a food diary can help identify patterns when you feel yourself reacting to certain foods.
- Addiction Buster: And if it’s a sugar problem you’re trying to curb, noticing patterns can help you hedge it off before the craving comes. Do that by observing that window of time every day that you’ve been reaching for the donuts and start eating something healthier about 30 minutes before that craving. It can still be sweet—like fresh or dried fruit—but if you make it a natural, healthier option, you have a better chance of both satisfying that sweet tooth and fending off the urge to visit the vending machine.
- Healthy Weight: The more we notice what we put into our bodies, the harder it is to make unhealthy and unconscious choices. While documenting your food choices isn’t a guaranteed weight loss tool, in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise, it can make a significant impact on a weight loss program.
In our continuous struggle to answer the seemingly impossible question: “Who Am I? Many of us overlook the most obvious answer: You Are What You Eat. Our modern world has provided us no shortage of foods to eventually become part of us, but we’ve also lost the sacred connection to that important relationship—eating on the go and without thinking, or foods that are just downright turning us into people we’d rather not be. A food diary reconnects you to this intimate relationship and imparts authentic self-discovery.