People all over the country are trying to lose weight. They may try counting calories, skipping meals, cutting out certain foods, or working out long hours to try to pare the pounds. One thing weight-loss experts recommend to anyone trying to slim down is that they create a food journal to help lose weight.
You can create a food journal out of any number of materials. You can get a three-ring binder with notebook paper, a spiral ring notebook, create a journal to suit your needs, or print out pre-made food journals which you find on the internet.
The purpose of a food journal is to track what you’ve eaten during the day. This will give you an accurate picture of what you’ve eaten all day long. It will ensure you’re getting all of the nutrients you need as well as helping you keep track of how much water you’re getting each day.
- Choose the type of journal you’ll use. As stated above, you can use nearly anything as a journal as long as you can carry it with you to track what you’re eating. Online journals aren’t recommended unless you write everything down during the day and then record things at the end of the day.
- Write down everything you eat during a 24-hour period. This includes all meals, snacks, chewing gum, hard candies, or beverages. You may want to use two pages per day to ensure you have enough room to write everything down. You can also use the space for the day to write down if you’ve eaten alone, with friends, what mood you were in when you ate, or other information which might affect how much you ate during the day.
- Throughout the day, look at your journal to ensure you’re getting enough of each food group. Did you eat get five servings of fruits or vegetables? Did you drink enough water? Did you eat too much of any food or too many fats?
- By keeping the journal, you can see what you’re actually eating, which foods you’re eating too many of and can cut back on, and which foods you need to eat more of. You can also determine how many calories you’re eating each day, and then make a decision as to where you can cut back.
Some pre-made journals will break down what you’re eating into categories such as fats, proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, fruits, and vegetables. You decide how in-depth you’d like your journal to be; if it’s too detailed and is more trouble than it’s worth you may not continue using it. The simpler you keep your journal, the more likely you’ll be to use it.
What can you learn when you create a food journal to help you lose weight? You can see if there are certain foods that cause you to stumble. You can also note if there are certain times of the day which you struggle most. Finally, you’ll have a better understanding of how much you’re actually eating during the day so you can decide what changes can be made to help you shed those unwanted pounds.