Written by Taylor Booher, RD at Camp Shane WI
Journaling can be very a therapeutic tool whether it is about your emotions, feelings, or just your daily life. Even more so, food journaling can be a wonderful tool when focused on losing weight. When it comes to food – it is important to pay attention to what we are putting into our bodies. So keeping a written log each day can be a great tool for weight loss. Not only does this help you remember what you ate, but it can also prevent you from overeating. Think about it— will you really want to eat that cookie if you have to journal it? Probably not.
Which method is best for you?
Do you prefer to physically write things down or are you the type that is constantly on their phone? Make it personalized so that you will stick with it!
If the phone is your choice, then there are many mobile apps that can be very helpful. My favorite app to use is MyFitnessPal, which not only tracks what you eat, but has options to track your activity level as well. You can be as specific as you wish – you can list or scan the name of the food, as well as note which time of day you ate it at. You can also add nutritional information and mark the portion size you consumed. The more specific you are the better idea you will have of what you are actually consuming.
What’s also great about using a mobile app is that you can add friends and family to your community and in turn have an accountability partner to look over your progress. Having someone that you share everything you eat with will hold you more accountable. Make it fun and have a competition to see who can eat the healthiest. If you are writing your food journal, perhaps share it with a trusted friend who can be your accountability buddy and also lend you support and helpful suggestions.
Remember that even if you forget to journal for a few days it is okay to start up and try again. It is not about being perfect, it is about making progress. Food journaling may only need to occur for a short period of time before you can see a realistic portrait of what you are eating and gain awareness to what you are truly consuming. It will allow you to see exactly how much protein, carbohydrates and fat you are eating and from there you can make adjustments to your diet so that it coincides with your weight loss goals.
The Camp Shane Team