Food Journaling- And Why You Need To Try It
Writing down everything you eat throughout the day can unlock so many clues as to what foods work best for you, and what foods may be negatively affecting you without you even realizing.
And it doesn’t have to be as hard as it may sound.
It can be as simple as carrying a small notebook around in your purse, or even as quick as downloading a Food Journaling app on your phone to keep track. There are many great ones to choose from if you search for food journaling in your phone's app store.
TIP: If you read to the end of this post, you can grab the one I use with my clients for FREE! It comes with a short training so you know exactly how to use it and what to watch for.
Here's what you'll discover about yourself when you start keeping a food journal.
You'll solve that mysterious question, "Why do I eat if I'm not hungry?"
To be successful at food journaling, you need to get to the root of why you're eating what you're eating, and why you're even eating at all. When you jot down all the foods you eat, make sure you're writing down the times, how hungry you are before eating it, and how full you feel afterward. What you'll discover is very telling. Many people spot the pattern that they eat on cue even when not hungry due to some other stimulus, like watching TV. When you catch that clue, you can change your behavior and stop the habit in its tracks.
You'll see how much you're actually eating.
It's not solely about the food on your plate. Eating can sometimes be a mindless activity, which is why food journaling helps bring you back into mindfulness when eating. Take note of your meals, not just what you fill your plate with but how much of it. Merely writing "veggie stir fry" won't give you any clues later, especially if you neglected to write down that you ate two bowls full.
You'll see how fast you eat.
Sometimes, eating too quickly can be the culprit in all of your food feelings. Either it leads to digestive woes (hello, heartburn and bloating!) or you feel mostly unsatisfied because you've wolfed down your food and those you're dining with are still eating. By recognizing this pattern through your food journaling, you'll be able to take better control.
You'll discover how you really feel when you eat what you eat.
After hearing many stories from clients, I've realized we choose what to eat based on what we like and seldom based on how it makes us feel. This is a crucial part of food journaling, to see on paper how we're choosing to eat things that make us feel bad - and we know they will make us feel bad. For example, headaches seem to be a part of life, but they're so often caused by foods we're consuming, and we're not realizing the connection. So taking note of how you feel after eating certain foods, and keeping this laid out in your food journal, will help you see patterns, you may be completely unaware of at this moment. After you eat, think about if you feel refreshed and energetic, unmotivated and fatigued, uncomfortable in any way? Taking notes on how the food you eat impacts your life will help you make better choices.
Perception is a huge factor in living a balanced, healthy life. You might very well think you're on the right track, but keeping a food journal will show you where you're straying and where any unseen harmful patterns are hiding.
You’ll start to make connections between what you eat, how you are sleeping, your exercise, and your mindset.
I follow the Four Pillars of Health with my clients, and often times when one area of our life falls off track, it brings the others with it. By journalling all four of these areas together, we can then see the bigger picture.
Once we have a big picture, it’s so much easier to make changes because we know exactly where to start. It’s empowering to take our health in our own hands, and I encourage you to give it a try.
Have you ever kept a food journal? If not, are you excited about starting one?
You can grab my Food, Mood and Health Journal for FREE here:
Gaylene Gomez, NNCP, C.H.N.
A little bit about me! I'm Gaylene, a Holistic Nutrition Coach for women. I work with busy, professional women to help them learn about healthy, simple lifestyle changes they can easily implement to reduce belly bloat, lose weight and get through their day with sustained energy. My clients are committed to their health and excited to learn about healthy eating and natural living. I feel proud of them for taking charge of their health and I'm so lucky to work with these amazing women.
Learn more about me here: About Me