Write It Down!
For years now, I’ve been telling my clients, “If you want to lose weight, you need to journal what you eat.” Many times, overeating occurs from a lack of awareness. A food journal is a tool for self-discovery. It will tell you the truth, if you let it. Keeping a food journal for two weeks without changing your routine will be a real eye-opener! You will learn quite a bit about your relationship with food. Here are a few tips to successful food journaling!
1. Choose a format
Before you start the food journal, decide on the best format for you. Some people prefer to write it in a journal, others prefer to do it on the computer. There are a few apps out there that allow you to journal your food on your phone. 100 iPhone Apps that Make Weight Loss Easy | Masters in Health Care and BlackBerry Calorie Tracker | LIVESTRONG.COM. are just a few.
2. Entering Data
Each entry should include what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, where, with whom, why, and how you feel before and after eating.
3. At first, just write down everything you eat
The most important key to success is to write down every single thing you eat and drink. This includes munching in front of the fridge, eating off your child’s plate, and nibbling while cooking. For the first week, only worry about writing everything down and collect information on your current eating habits. After only a few days, you may start learning a lot about your strengths, weaknesses, and subconscious eating patterns.
4. Start looking for patterns
After a week, you can use what you’ve learned about your eating patterns to set some goals for yourself. An example may be to control portion sizes, eat more fruits and vegetables, or turn off the TV while eating.
5. Get Support
It makes a big difference when you have to be accountable to someone else. If you don’t have a trainer or weight loss group who can evaluate your food journal and offer support, try to find a friend or two who will join you in this endeavor. This can even be done via e-mail or social networking site. Sharing the experience makes it more fun and motivating!
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