Here’s why and how to keep a food journal to help you lose weight.
Want to know an easy exercise you can do while lounging on the sofa – researched to melt off the pounds?
According to Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, women who write down what they eat lose 6 pounds more on average.
Dr. Anne McTiernan, lead author of the study and professor of epidemiology at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, said losing weight is really just about “accountability – knowing what you’re eating and how much – and how that all adds up compared with your calorie goal for losing weight.”
Basically, it’s tough to change your diet if you’re not mindfully aware of your diet – the what, when, how much and why behind the food you eat.
Keith Ayoob, associate professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, agrees.
Plus he acknowledges that keeping a food journal can feel uncomfortable at times – because it forces dieters to “confront everything in real time.”
He adds: “Taking this action can be extremely helpful though, so it’s worth it, but it means letting go of some of the spontaneity about eating. There’s no ‘I’ll deal with it later’ thing. When you write it down now, you have to think about it now, and that means you think about whether you really want it or need it.”
1. Don’t fib. If you ate it, chewed it, nibbled it, licked it – you gotta record it!
2. Measure portions if you can.
3. Include details about cooking methods and any condiments or toppings.
4. Share how you felt while eating – and what might have triggered eating something during non-meal times.
5. Carry the food journal with you – so you can maintain it consistently. If it’s more convenient you can use the note taking area in your cellphone or explore getting a diet recording app.
6. Use your journal to plan ahead and write down food shopping lists and menu ideas.
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