The Benefits of Food Journaling

Did You Know…?

Food journaling sucks! I mean, let’s be honest. Who wants to rat themselves out and actually record all the crap that’s being ingested? I mean snitches get stitches, right? You just gonna go and tell on yourself like that? I don’t think so!

Well that’s one school of thought. The other school of thought is based on actual nutritional and psychological science. There are definitive reasons and benefits for food journaling, even if just for a season. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits below:

  • Food journaling develops an awareness of some of our subconscious behaviors. Many of us graze on snacks and treats without even being cognizant of it. By journaling what you are eating, you develop a level of self-awareness, sometimes to the point of saying, “Damn! What am I doing?”
  • Food journaling can help you understand your body better. You can become not only more aware of what you are eating, but also why you are eating. Are you an emotional eater? Do you eat because you’re feeling depressed, angry or excited? Do you eat because you are simply bored; or is it a pattern? Once the tv goes on, are you triggered to go to the pantry for some late night foodgasms? I know I am!
  • Food journaling and tracking water intake can help you recognize and feel the difference between hunger and thirst. They feel so similar, and most people will argue until they are blue in the face that it’s hunger; but our body feels each response similarly. So how can you tell? By tracking and drinking more water, you will actually begin to feel the difference and know what your body needs.
  • Food journaling will help you pinpoint whether you are receiving enough nutrients. Most of us eat enough nutrients to survive, but not necessarily enough to thrive. By food journaling, you can experiment with protein, fats and carbohydrates. You can begin to understand what foods work best with your body. You can then develop a balanced lifestyle that keeps you feeling great!

Quite honestly, I wouldn’t food journal forever. In some cases, in can create a very unhealthy mindset. The key is to do it for understanding, not for results. If results are the only thing you consider, you will likely end up feeling pretty crappy about food. And food isn’t just fuel. Food isn’t just data for the body. Food is cultural. Food often means family, friendship, and social gatherings. Food isn’t the devil. It isn’t evil. So treat it like an adventure and an opportunity to find out more about yourself and your body.

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