With busy lives such as the ones you and I lead, we tend to either eat more or less than we actually think we do. We over or under-estimate the exact amount of our daily intake because we fail to take into consideration portion size. Sometimes we think portion sizes are waaaay bigger than they really are; and on the flip side, we sometimes think things like a handful of jelly beans doesn’t even count toward our daily intake.
It is only when we are forced and/or choose to write down or track (myfitnesspal) everything we eat and drink that the true story is told. The importance of keeping a food diary goes way beyond just the food we eat. A recent study done by Cleveland Clinic followed 1,800 men and women over a 6 month period – both who did and did not keep food journals. And do you know what they found? Those who kept a food diary lost 50% more weight than those who did not.
Alright alright, you’re thinking, so what’s the big food diary secret? Well, here are just a few reasons why food diaries are important:
Heard that word before! 😉 But seriously, you’d be surprised by how writing everything down and visually seeing your daily intake really increase your perception of how much you do or do not eat.
The extra helping of dressing on your salad, the candy bar you snatched while getting gas for your car, even the second drink you had at dinner. These could all add up to another 150-650 extra calories throughout the day, yet we tend to forget about these little food extras and instead focus on our main meals. You could very well be getting far above your recommended sugar intake and not even know it. When it comes to food, even a little adds up. Your food diary helps to make you aware of these things.
Food logging can help you tie in stress, emotion, and physical ailments. For example, maybe eating certain foods for you creates abdominal cramping and maybe gas. By food logging, you can track and see what you ate on the days you experienced this. Maybe each day that week you experienced these symptoms, you had eaten an English muffin with breakfast. You could come to realize that you are gluten intolerant. Similarly, certain foods can cause you to be irritable, tired, and even feel foggy. By realizing that certain foods affect you in such a way by FOOD LOGGING 😉 you will be able to safely avoid them.
So as you can see – there are good reasons behind food logging 🙂 another thing to always remember is to be honest. Sometimes you get too wrapped up in your food log or are ashamed of something you’ve eaten, so you pick up the habit of fibbing on your food log. Honesty truly is the best policy when it comes to food – both for yourself as well as your trainer (if you’re a Trumi Trumate). Keeping your records may provide further motivation to reach your goals. It provides an historical perspective on all the amazing changes you’ve made throughout the weeks, months, and years. It provides a tool that can be used to keep your motivation up to make further changes and may increase your self-esteem as well! Getting back on track with healthy eating is difficult enough. Arming yourself with all the tools you’ll need to get on track and stay on track is crucial.