People are getting increasingly health conscious and health awareness has been on a steady high over the past decade. They know how to keep healthy, know what diet choices to make and how to avoid falling sick due to what they eat. They also know how to prevent themselves from getting overweight through sustained planning rather than ‘fad’ or ‘crash’ diets.
One of the ways of increasing this awareness is the food journal. Food journals or food diaries have been a common fixture with nutritionists, as it allows them to know what, where and how a patient eats. Now, the food journal has made its way to the mainstream as it helps people keep track of their existing food choices and helps create new, healthier ones.
Here are five ways keeping a food journal helps:
Pick the right medium:
It’s very important to pick a journal that suits what you’re looking for. For some, it might be a hand-bound book, to others it could be a proper diary with dates and times. Some others might go the digital route, using a digital notepad or app to track their dietary habits. What matters is that you should be comfortable with your food journal.
One of the most important things to keep in mind about a food journal is that you should write down everything. Not just you’re main meals but also, how much you ate, your portion sizes, how many times a week you repeat a dish or food type, and the number of times you eat. You should also note down your snack times, what you snack on, how much you snacked. You could also keep track of the number of calories you consume in any one meal.
The purpose of a diary is to write down what you think, honestly. The same is true for a food journal. Be as honest as you can with your food journal. If you’ve cheated on your diet, write it down, along with when it happened and what you ate! There’s nothing to be ashamed of. Being honest in your food journal also helps you identify patterns in your eating habits and how you can fix them.
Write what you drink:
We know it’s called a food journal but, in reality, you should write down everything you eat, and drink. If you’ve had say, ten glasses of water a day, you should write that down. If you’ve had a coke to drink, that too should be in your journal! The point of a food journal is to keep track of anything you consume.
Review, review, review:
With all we’ve spoken about so far, we’ve mentioned that food journals are a great help in nutritional and diet planning. The whole point though, is that it’s not a write-and-forget journal. When you’re reviewing your journal is when the real magic happens! You see patterns you might have missed, or ignored earlier. You know exactly how many calories you’ve consumed, in a day, week, month or even year. The best part is that this can help you plan a diet practically and successfully. If you write down your diet in the journal, you can even have a written record so you never forget!
And there you have it: the many ways a food journal can help you refine your diet and food habits!