Why We Should Keep A Food Journal
They say the road to failure is paved with good intentions. This seems to be a common downfall when we decide to make healthy changes in our lifestyle. This is why we need to keep a food journal!
Having a good intention is never where the problem begins though!
It is so easy to tell ourselves that we are failures when our best intentions go unfulfilled: but the true ‘tripping’ point is almost always in failure to map a plan from point A to your desired destination.
Even failure is not the worst part of the problem though.
Instead, its how we feel about ourselves when we keep ending up in the same place, or sometimes even in a worse place then where we started!
Case in point:
Mary wants to lose 10 pounds. She is holding onto those outfits she loves in that perfect size and every week or so pulls them out and tries them on.
Still don’t fit, maybe even tighter then they were!
Mary wants to cry, but instead doubles up on her determination to ‘reduce calories’ and eats nothing for the entire morning and half of the afternoon the next day.
Around 2 pm, she is so hungry! And, after all, she hasn’t had any calories yet.
A quick, high carb or high calorie lunch seems like an acceptable solution!
Now, Mary has not met any quality nutritional requirements and her body is beginning to protest. Sugar and/or salt cravings set in, but she knows to wait for dinner.
After a second helping of that healthy dinner, she is still hungry. The rest of the evening is spent eating snacks and junk food.
What went wrong?
To start with, simply reducing calories is not going to solve the problem.
Even if restricted calories produces weight loss in the beginning, after awhile, most diets get boring and leave holes in variety, nutritional requirements and satiety.
Almost all calorie restricted diets require ever increasing will power to maintain.
Other people in our lives are not impressed or inclined to participate.
In order to successfully map a course from intention to accomplishment, you will need to put in some thought and planning.
Taking the time to determine what is right and what is wrong with your current eating habits is the best way to begin.
Tracking our current food habits by keeping a food journal will give us a great birds eye view of what we should change…. and what is perfectly okay.
Meal tracking is also a good way to see if there are any categories of food that may be causing trouble, such as headaches, cravings or digestive issues.
We all have that favorite junk food snack and there is no reason why we cannot enjoy a healthier version of it!
Which brings me to another point:
We sometimes associate certain foods with cravings.
Not all cravings are bad!
We may need more minerals or fiber or fat or enzymes and find ourselves craving chips or chocolate or deep fried anything.
Finally, many of us mistakenly believe we are hungry when the real problem is that we haven’t had any plain old water in far too long! Dehydration can happen even if we are drinking cup after cup of coffee!
Caffeine can actually cause us to become dehydrated!
Keeping track of our water intake and making sure we are getting enough can go a long way towards preventing thirst that may be masking itself as hunger!
Knowing that cravings can be translated into nutritional needs of the body is a useful way to change out the junk for something that will actually satisfy that craving; without leaving us with all the garbage calories.