All of us have our go to items that we love to carry around with us each day. They become habitual to have everyday, or else we feel like we are missing something. Some of those items include but are not subject to, our car keys, wallet, Chap Stick, hand sanitizer, lipstick, pocketknife, or even Kleenex. But what about carrying around an actual small notebook each day to write down everything you eat or drink? This is an easy idea to implement for a week or so to be more mindful of how much you are eating as well as the types of foods you are consuming on a daily basis. Studies have shown on numerous occasions that people who are consciously dieting and tracking their food intake with a journal, will eat about 15% less food than those who don’t keep track of their food intake.
Why Does It Matter?
Counting calories can be downright exhausting at times, and leave you feeling discouraged at best. While it is still a good idea to count calories and be mindful of the foods caloric content, it is more helpful to just write down the foods themselves, as this will create a natural mindfulness to your eating habits overtime. Even if you carry a food journal for one weeks time, it will get your mind ticking in the right direction when it comes to the types of foods you are consuming. By simply recording your actions, you are more apt to choosing healthier choices!
Many times dieters who are solely counting their calories are subjecting themselves to staying within a certain number each day. What happens when you go past that number? Do you completely give up on the day, because you have overshot your caloric content? Many people throw in the towel, and say, “Oh well, I can continue eating unhealthy today because I’ve already blown it. There is no use to keep on being good, when I can just start again tomorrow.” When you track what you are eating each day, it causes you to strive to feel better as an individual as well as continue to fill your journal up with healthy foods.
Many times caloric numbers are not consistent either, so you may find yourself going crazy trying to calculate everything out each day. What one app says a food items caloric content might be, may be different from another websites description and breakdown of it. This can cause confusion and frustrations that may lead to a plateau.
When you invest in a small food journal, you are investing in your habits and your future. By taking a look back at the foods you have eaten, you are taking a look to see where patterns lie. This doesn’t just include food, as drinks are very much included in this topic. In just one week’s time you can turn around bad habits, into more mindful ones with a simple journal in hand.
How To Start
Writing has been said to pose many mental and health benefits to people worldwide. Whether you are just writing down your food, or you are adding a small note reflecting your feeling with the food to go along, there are many positives to this new habit you will benefit from. When you journal, you get more creative which can make the dieting game more fun and a little more sustainable long term! You can start one of two ways: 1. Go to your local grocery store next time you are grabbing items for the week, and purchase a small ringed notebook that will easily fit in your purse or bag. 2. You can use the notepad feature on your smartphone as well.
Some people like to physically feel, write, and read off of paper itself so the method is up to you to decide. The important factor is to get started today, and try to journal for at least one week. See how you like it, and how it improves your diet awareness as well as overall wellness. Start by numbering your days out in the journal to get organized, so you know there is a spot daily for the food and drinks you consume. Remember to add the items into your food journal immediately after you eat them so you do not get behind!
Go out and get started with your journal, and have fun with it! Always be extremely specific with your food items as well as the time, date, and location where that food was consumed! Don’t think of food journaling as a task, but rather a new habit to becoming a healthier you!