B-o-r-i-n-g! If that's what you think when someone suggests you keep a food journal, you might want to think again.
Not only does keeping a food journal help you lose weight (seriously there's a ton of research that shows this to be true) but it also is a great tool to help you make excellent eating decisions. You can look back and see patterns you weren't aware of and also remind yourself of indulgences that were worth it — sometimes you really do deserve a treat and it's no big deal if you adjust what you eat afterward.
Some tips on how to keep a good food journal:
- Do what you like best when it comes to food journaling if you're into techie stuff, use your smart phone (check out the LiVe app from Intermountain!). If you like to sit with a pen and paper, buy yourself a cool notebook and pen you'll enjoy using.
- Be thoughtful as you take notes. Don't just write what you ate note how you ate it, how great it was or wasn't and how you felt afterward. Were you tired? Sweets and refined carbs practically always bring an energy crash after a while, but protein can be a great fuel for a long day.
- Set goals and reward yourself for meeting them. Whether you are keeping track of eating your nine servings of fruits and vegetables or keeping your calories within a certain range, build in a way to treat yourself with a non-food item for doing the right thing $1 for every day you meet your goal adds up fast, for instance!