Do you remember everything you ate yesterday? Often times, the answer is no, and even more so, we underestimate the amount of food we actually ate. It can be surprising once you actually start to keep a log of what you have been eating to better understand your habits and what you need to tweak to better serve your healthy lifestyle. Here are a few key steps to master the art of effective food journaling:
Food Log: Record what you eat throughout the day. Be specific and include everything, even condiments, chewing gum, and candy. Many people eat healthy meals but don’t choose the right snacks.
Liquid Calories: Record everything you drink, including water. Remember, everything counts. Had an electrolyte drink? Add it to your log!
Calorie Consumption: List the item, serving size, and calories of each item. Although you may just want to eyeball it and guess, if you want to make a change, you need to weigh the food. This way you know exactly how many servings you're eating.
Time: When do you eat? Do you overeat at night because you have not eaten all day? Recording this can help you better see patterns in your eating habits.
Social Level: Are you alone or with someone when you eat? Sometimes what we eat is affected by whom we are with at the time.
Activity and Location: What are you doing when you are eating? Do you eat breakfast in the car, lunch at your desk, and dinner in front of the television? Are you paying attention when you are eating?
Mood: How do you feel before, during, and after eating? Paying attention to your moods can help you better determine why you are making the food choices you are making or eating at the times you are.
Calories Burned: In addition to recording calories consumed, you should record the calories you are burning through exercise. Record your daily activity, the duration of the activity, and the calories burned during the exercise.
Here’s the good news, we’ve simplified food journaling. Our Signature Patient Website provides our patients with an online journal that is easy to navigate and can be monitored by both patient and provider. Also, our mobile app makes food journaling even easier and more convenient than ever! Contact a location near you to find out more information!