What is a Food Journal and Should I Start One?

A food journal can be a useful tool. It can help you track and understand your eating habits and patterns. Research shows that for people interested in losing weight, keeping a journal can be an effective tool to aid behavior change. In one weight loss study of nearly 1,700 participants, those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records. Try it out for a week and reflect on what you have learned. Based on your discoveries, determine if there are any beneficial changes that can be made to improve your diet.

Here are some tips on what to include:

What are you eating and drinking? Write down the specific food and beverage consumed as soon as you eat or drink it. Include how you prepared it (grilled, baked, broiled, fried, etc.) and what sauces, condiments, or toppings it was served with. Be as specific as possible.

How much are you eating?  List the amount in household measures (cups, grams, teaspoons, tablespoons, or ounces). If possible, weigh or measure your food or beverages for the most accurate data.

When are you eating?  Note the time you are eating. This can be helpful in identifying potentially problematic times, such as late-night snacking.

Need help tracking? Test out some fitness apps to help with your food journal.




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