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Importance of Keeping a Food Journal

Posted by Nicole Pestana on November 16, 2020

Many people when they think of a healthy lifestyle are quick to assume physical activity and exercise alone will make them healthier. But, nutrition plays a key role in a healthy lifestyle. That's why there's a saying "abs are built in the kitchen!". Keeping a consistent combination of nutrition and exercise will put you on the right track to a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track and remember what you eat in a day so one thing you can do to keep your eating in check using a food journal. Here are some benefits of keeping a food journal:

Weight Loss:
A food journal can play a big role if you are trying to lose weight. Sometimes we have slightly unhealthy habits we don't even realize, but writing down everything you eat will reveal food patterns. Little snacks throughout the day can sometimes increase the calories you are eating in a day to a point where it will keep you from losing weight. Not all snacks are bad snacks, but tracking them allows you to see how much you are actually eating throughout the day.

Detecting Food Intolerance:
Not everyone is able to process all food the same way due to an intolerance to certain types of food. If you find yourself having a slightly abnormal reaction after eating or feeling that your body is reacting negatively afterwards, write it down. Track not only the type of food but how long after did these reactions start after eating. By detecting a food intolerance, it can allow you to stay away from that type of food to avoid these negative reactions. Sometimes people can get bloated or feel nauseous after eating foods like eggs, dairy, or even gluten. It’s important to note not everyone has food intolerances and reactions can vary person to person.

Portion Control:
Portions vary between standard serving size and what you can find at a restaurant. In today’s world when you go out to eat you can find giant plates of food or even jumbo-sized cups of soda. A food journal can keep you accountable of standard portions of food and staying away of overeating. When starting your food journal, you will want to do research to find proper portion sizes based off the meals you typically eat so you can start to learn and grow accustomed to the proper portion size.

Better Nutrition:
While keeping a food journal will show you calorie intake and food intolerances, it will also show if you are eating enough or too much of certain food groups. If you notice your food journal has mostly proteins and carbohydrates, then you are probably not eating enough fruits and vegetables. Each food group contain essential nutrients to help your body function properly. If you are not eating enough fruits and vegetables, you are probably not getting enough of the vitamins that are found in this food group. Keeping a balance of all food groups is important so you are not only eating healthier but also you are keeping your body functioning properly.

Unhealthy Eating Triggers:
When keeping track of what you eat in a food journal it’s important to also take note of the time of day, your location, and even your mood. Tracking these components could potentially reveal that stress, work or even certain people can affect what you are eating. For example, if you always seem to reach for a candy bar at the office then it’s possible stressful work situations make you crave sugary foods. By keeping track of these triggers and habits you are now aware of them and can put more attention in those situations to try to get rid of any unhealthy habits you may have.