4 Compelling Reasons Why You Need to Keep a Food Diary
When it comes to weight loss and healthy eating, one of the main factors for success is accountability. Without being accountable for your dietary choices, it’s impossible to change your diet for the better. There are many ways of keeping track of the foods you consume, but the most efficient way is maintaining a food diary.
A food journal is an account of all the food you eat on a daily basis, along with your thoughts and feelings about your healthy eating plan. But how you use your food journal is entirely up to you. It can be a diary or a digital record through a web or mobile app.
Using a calorie counting app like Kudolife is more convenient as it has a database of virtually every food and their nutritional profiles.
Why You Should Keep a Food Diary
There are more than enough calorie counting apps to choose from, but if you want to keep things simple, just maintain a traditional food diary. As long as you can carry it with you at all times and feel comfortable using it, it doesn’t matter what means you use to record your food intake.
The main idea is to be answerable to someone—even if it’s you—to stay on track and avoid cheating on your diet. This will motivate you to stick to healthy foods and exercise regularly.
The benefits of regularly maintaining a food journal include:
1. It promotes self-control.
Writing down everything you plan to eat serves as a deterrent to overeating and unhealthy food choices. If you track everything you eat during the day and notice patterns of overindulging, you’ll be less likely to snack or overeat. Awareness is an important factor when you’re trying to lose weight.
2. It helps you control reduce portion sizes.
Measuring the quantity of food you consume helps you become more conscious of your intake. Keeping a food diary gives you an accurate assessment of your dietary choices—especially your portion sizes.
For example, you may think you eat a “small” bowl of cereal for breakfast every day when, in reality, you find that your portion sizes are actually quite large. Accurately measuring your food helps you gauge how much you really need to eat, which makes you reduce portion sizes and cut out unnecessary calories from your diet.
3. You learn to recognize patterns.
Not only should you jot down the foods you eat, but also the time of day, location and your mood during the meal or snack you consumed. Emotional eating is real and many of us are guilty of it. When you binge, you may be doing it not because you really hungry, but because your stressed.
Writing down your moods at the time of your meal can help you asses how stress controls your diet and help you address the underlying situation. Recognizing your triggers will help you prevent stress eating.
4. You’ll feel better about yourself.
A binge-eating episode eventually ends up in guilt and shame. Make a list of your trigger foods in your food diary to prevent overindulging. This will break the cycle of regret and guilt that usually follow a binge.
If you successfully avoid your favorite junk foods, it will improve your feelings of self-worth and could even make you feel proud of resisting temptation. Positive reinforcement goes a long way in inculcating healthy eating habits and losing weight.
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