Losing weight is all about focus. Many of us go through life eating snacks and tidbits without even thinking. If you’re like a lot of people, you may be a grazer, eating small amounts of food throughout the day, but those small amounts add up, especially if they’re filled with calories. If you want to understand just what you eat and how much you eat keeping a food journal can help. You’ll be surprised at how much you actually eat when you track it.
Don’t forget that what you drink makes a difference.
If you’re eating healthy but downing four to five soft drinks a day, you’re really not eating healthy and probably consuming far more calories than you might expect. A 16-ounce cola is about 130 calories, so if you’re drinking three or four a day, you’re adding an additional 390 to 520 calories. The Starbucks specials may be coffee, but they also pack a calorie laden punch. A 20-oz Mocha Frappuccino has 500 calories and the same size white chocolate mocha has 580. Just three to four are a full day’s worth of calories.
Record everything no matter how small.
There’s a lot you can add to your food diary, but the primary focus should be on recording every morsel. You also can record how you felt right before you ate. Were you frustrated and headed for a bag of chips to crunch away the frustration? Do you find you eat more under stress? Are you stuffing your emotions down with food? Record the time you ate. If you’re always grabbing a candy bar mid-morning, plan a healthy mid-morning snack.
A food journal can do more than help you lose weight.
If you’re having digestive issues it’s a good time to start a food journal. Not only will you log all the food you eat, but you’ll also log how you’re feeling, whether it’s diarrhea, bloating, hives or headache. After a while, you’ll start noticing a pattern of certain foods causing the problem. Eliminate that food, or in the case of food intolerance, like lactose intolerance, that group of foods, and see how you feel. Many health issues are solved in this manner.
- Are you worried that it will be too cumbersome to track the food you eat? Don’t worry, you won’t have to carry a pen and paper around, use the notes area in your cell phone or make a video or recording and chart it later.
- Make sure you identify those times you mindlessly grab a few chips and record it. Even cleaning up that last bit of food from the serving bowl counts. You’ll be surprised at how it adds up.
- When you food journal, knowing what a portion is or how to judge how much you ate is important. Food journaling is a good tool to help you learn portion control, too.
- One study showed that people who kept a food journal for three months, but didn’t focus on dieting, lost weight compared to a control group that didn’t keep a journal. It’s also a good way to ensure you’re getting a balanced diet.
For more information, contact us today at BioFit Performance