Whether you want to lose weight, kick bad eating habits, or live a healthier lifestyle, keeping a food journal is a great way to track your food and drink consumption and make a shift to better choices. Most everyone who has kept a food journal will tell you that they learned a lot from it, and they will probably tell you they were surprised at what and how much they were eating.
A food journal does not need to be complicated. It can be as simple as a written list, a printed calendar, or a spreadsheet you save on your computer. There are even apps that you can download onto your smartphone for food-tracking. You may want to track the amount of food you eat each day (portions), the kind of food you eat each day, the time of day when you eat, the estimated number of calories of food, and how you felt before and after consuming the food. If you’re just curious about what you’re eating on a daily basis, try food journaling for one week. If you’re determined to make long-term diet and health changes, try food journaling for three months or so.
Food journaling is a great way to help you lose weight because you can see how much fat you’re eating, how many calories you’re consuming, and any food patterns, like emotional eating. And keeping a food journal is a great idea if you have health considerations, like food allergies, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc. The more knowledgeable you become about what you put into your mouth, the easier it will be for you to make better choices regarding your diet. And the most important thing to remember when keeping your food journal is to be completely honest: record everything, from a half of can of soda to a handful of peanuts.