Do Food Journals Actually Work

If you have digestive issues your doctor can’t solve or simply want another aid for weight loss, adding food journals to your box of tools can be helpful. While clients in Auburn, WA, love the personalized coaching, they often find that food journals can help them better understand what and when they eat, to pinpoint emotional eating habits, food intolerance and mindless eating. Grabbing a handful of M&Ms as you pass a coworker’s candy dish can often be overlooked, food journaling alerts you to the problem.

Food journals come in many forms.

If you simply want to track the food you eat, to get an idea of how many calories you actually consume, it’s simple. Learn how to judge portion size with simple comparisons. For instance, a serving of cheese that’s the size of your thumb is approximately one ounce. Once you know these simple measurements, you can record approximate serving sizes. If you’re in a hurry, take a picture of it, but keep your hand in the picture next to the food to get perspective for size.

Add more information to find out if you’re an emotional eater.

Some people use emojis or write their mood next to the food they ate. If you’re angry and eat a whole bag of chips, maybe you’re an emotional eater. On those rough days, if you come home and consume several servings of your favorite comfort food, without realizing it’s your comfort food, notating your mood can help you identify that and find new ways of coping. You may find your weight problems come from stuffing your emotions down with food.

Food journals can be invaluable for your doctor.

Digestive issues may not be a problem with your body, but the problem your body has with the food. Many people are aware of lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance, but it wasn’t always that way. People were either needlessly treated for other problems they didn’t have or dismissed as hypochondriacs with a vivid imagination. Tracking your food and how you feel can help you identify food that may be the culprit responsible for those problems. You can even track your food intake and your blood pressure to see what food may be making it increase.

  • One study divided people into two groups, with one keeping a food journal and the other not. People who journaled lost weight even though they weren’t dieting. The group that didn’t, remained the same weight or gained.
  • If you keep a food journal, it’s important to record what you drink, too. A soft drink can be an extra 100 calories and a specialty drink like a Frappuccino from a coffee shop can add up to 500 calories.
  • People who keep food journals are often surprised at how much they eat. When you have to record every bite, it makes you more aware of how much you actually eat. It complements mindful eating.
  • If you’re an emotional eater, you might not be able to suddenly switch to confronting issues, so finding an alternative food is a good idea. Eating an apple or celery will give the same crunch as potato chips or crunchy Cheetos. Whipped frozen banana is a good substitute for ice cream.

For more information, contact us today at Targeted Nutrition Technologies