Could you list everything you ate today? Not just the main meals but any snacks too. How about this week? It’s so easy to lose track of what you have eaten in a day, and yet we wonder why we are not feeling our best (and get ourselves into food comas). That’s why keeping a food journal is such a good idea.
Calories are only the tip of the iceberg
If you are trying to lose or gain weight, keeping a food diary to list your calories is an excellent way of staying on track. When it comes to dieting, writing a list of the foods you eat every day will highlight how much you are consuming. If you are a fan of snacks, you might be surprised at just how many calories you are eating between meals, even if the meals themselves are low in calories. A food journal will also keep you accountable and allow you to see any habits and trends that are appearing. That said, there is so much more than calories to track in a food diary.
Do you sometimes find yourself bloated in the middle of the day for no apparent reason? Perhaps your bowels react unhappily, but you’re not sure exactly why. Keeping a food diary is a great way to look for correlations between certain foods and how your body reacts, which will help you manage your symptoms. If you feel as though you might have an allergy or sensitivity to a particular food, the best way to discover exactly what it is that is causing this, is by cutting out as many types of food as you possibly can. You’ll then want to start slowly reintroducing various groups of foods and keeping track of what reactions you have from these.
Food for energy
It’s easy to forget that food is primarily a source of energy and nutrition, and it is important that your body is getting all the vitamins and minerals that it needs to keep healthy. By tracking your intake of food, you can ensure you are getting the correct levels of vitamins from what you are eating. This is especially important if you find yourself lacking in energy or suffering some symptoms that can be explained by a vitamin deficiency. If you are trying for a baby, for example, this is an excellent way of keeping track of your food intake and ensuring that you are taking in everything you need to help your baby grow healthily.
There’s an app for that
You don’t have to do all this on paper, (unless, of course, you want to), as there is an app for everything! There are various apps that you can get on your smartphone, and some will even allow you to scan the barcodes of food packets to input the data automatically. This will make keeping a food journal so easy that you will be able to integrate it into your daily living seamlessly.
Make sure that keeping a food journal is a healthy habit that benefits your life and wellbeing, rather than letting it take over your brain and becoming an obsession. There is a line between healthy tracking of your food intake and obsessive compulsion. If you do it correctly, you can really ramp up your health by keeping a food journal and put a spotlight on your consumption.