Writing on paper what you eat on a daily basis is one of the best methods for maintaining or losing weight. Keeping a food journal is an important tool in self awareness and to help you improve your eating habits. How much and what we eat really is the best predictor as to how much we weigh.
- Record as you go. By recording throughout the day, you won’t forget the little things you grazed on and you’ll be more accountable for your actions. You’ll also think before you act.
- Try taking photos of everything you eat for a day. You’d be surprised how much you actually eat! Studies show that even when writing down your food intake people under estimate what they are eating. Much eating takes place out of our awareness.
- Identify eating triggers and moods. Identify times and places where cravings are higher for certain foods, boredom, stress, social occasions. Did you feel lethargic after certain foods, maybe bloated, satisfied, did you eat more while watching TV alone?
- Rate your appetite. How hungry were you before you ate? Were you neutral, slightly hungry or maybe ravengeous? How did you feel after? Maybe you were satisfied, slightly hungry, full, very full or sick?
- Develop strategies that may help you improve your eating.
- Try meal planning. Write out what you’ll eat the next day or even week in advance. If it’s in writing you’ll probably stick to it. It’s also a great tool to use to reduce grocery shopping trips and will save you money on food wastage.
You can create your own or use the the food journal template already created.