The Importance of Food Journals

It has long been said that eating right is the majority of the battle when it comes to reaching your fitness goals. When it comes down to it, the average American doesn't get enough of the good foods, the foods that help you lose weight or tone your body, on a regular basis. In recent years the trend has begun to change, but many people still don't get enough fruits and vegetables in their diets.

Aside from this, there are typically two types of people when it comes to eating: those who eat too much and those who don't eat enough to lose weight or move toward their fitness goals. Yes, calories matter. At the end of the day, you need to consume less calories than you are using in order to lose weight. However, consuming too little of an amount can actually cause your body to hold on to fat and hinder you from reaching your goals.

So after all of this, why are food journals important?  Making a change is hard, but most of the time we don't actually realize what we need to change and how to make that change.  This is where a food journal comes in.  A food journal will allow for you to see the portions and types of food you frequently eat.  It allows you to have tangible evidence of what needs to change in front of you. There's no need to feel bad or ashamed about what's on the paper.  What's important is that you get to choose where to start and how to change going forward.

For the next three days I would like you to write down everything you've eaten and the times that you did so. Note the times that you ate and what you ate in that sitting.  Obviously, estimation is fine, since sometimes it's hard to write everything down as things happen.  If you are curious to see how much water you are drinking, I would add that in the times that you drink water as well. 

Here's a sample page from one of my first food journals:

There are few things to notice from just one day of me doing this:

  1. I need more fruits and vegetables.
  2. I also need to eat a snack between lunch and dinner. I was so hungry I wanted to overeat and then snack on a bunch of junk food or sweets afterward.
  3. I should eat a bigger breakfast with more fruits or vegetables.

Now do three days of this and you have an idea of what you need to work on consistently. Write down everything that you find needs to be changed and choose ONE of those things to work on for two weeks by itself. Since overeating at night was prevalent all three days, I decided to add a snack in before/during my practice time (usually a fruit since it was easy to carry), and it actually helped me sit down and enjoy dinner without being overly hungry.

What are you going to change over the next two weeks?  Share you story below!

If you need further guidance or would like help with this join our Facebook Groups: Cr3ation Fit Moms or Cr3ation Fit Women for community and support. Or you can email me at cr3ation.fitness@gmail.com