Looking to lose more weight? See how a food journal can help!
By: Betsy Stevens NCCPT | Click Here to Find Me on Facebook
If you have ever worked with a personal trainer or a dietitian, you may have been asked about your daily eating habits. And if you couldn’t tell them? Well, they asked you to keep track in a food journal. Why do they want you to do that? For a couple of reasons – the first being to gather an idea of your eating patterns for a normal day so that they can make recommendations for your exercise/physical activity program. The second reason? That’s for your benefit. Because if you are being honest, it will reveal how much or how little you are eating, the quality of your food choices and if you are eating at the correct times.
Through my years of training, I have come across people who would rather chew glass than keep a record of the food they put in their mouth and also the people who can’t imagine not doing it. Which one are you? You might think you are the first type, but have you ever given it a chance? Read below to see how not keeping a food journal, could be shorting yourself on some weight loss!
You may not realize it, but eating gets to be pretty darn pricey after a while! Think about it – if you eat out multiple times during the week, stop at the coffee shop here and there and then stop by the grocery store a couple of times on the way home from work, it really adds up! By writing down and evaluating for just 1 week what you eat and drink, you may realize how much that you buy really just isn’t necessary. You could be saving yourself a good bit of money!
I get asked a lot, “How many calories should I eat?” That exact answer varies from person to person, of course. However, the average woman needs to consume 1200-1600 calories a day, while men should to be taking in 1800-2200. By keeping track of the calories in the food you eat, you will be able to see if you are way under or way over your recommended calorie consumption per day. Remember, if you are trying to lose weight and aren’t eating enough but still working out, your body is going to hold on to that weight! Watch your calories and you will have a much better weight loss journey.
Doing it wrong, while trying to do it right:
Yes, I did just say “watch your calories,” but I don’t want you to ONLY look at the amount of calories in your food. It is absolutely necessary for you to be aware of WHERE the calories you eat are being derived from. If you eat a snack bag of 100 calorie brownies and are thinking you are doing yourself a favor…think again my friend. Where are those 100 calories coming from? Are they coming from fat or sugar? You need to know! Be aware and informed of your calories and where they are coming from by writing down the info. That way, you can get a general idea of how much fat, carbs, sugars and sodium you are consuming during the day.
The first time I ever learned about this last point, I kind of rolled my eyes. But after really thinking about it, I was shocked! Do you ever eat samples in the grocery store? Maybe out at the local pub they sometimes give out free samples of beer and you try a couple. How about licking the spoon or eating little nibbles while you bake or cook for family and friends? You may think that stuff doesn’t really count, but it does! Those little things start to add up in the week and before you know it, you have had over 400 calories worth of bread and cheese samples and ate almost 2 whole candy bars after licking the cake batter from the mixer! Ever lick your finger to taste a soup or side dish to make sure it doesn’t need anything? I bet you do it more than once. Am I right? It’s called “mindless eating” and it is so very, very abundant in today’s society. Keep an eye out for that! By keeping a food journal of every single thing you put in your mouth, you may be surprised to see that you are eating way more than your share of unnecessary food each week.
Can you relate to any of those points up there? Like I have been saying, give writing in a food journal a chance for just a week! You may be astonished at what you find out about yourself. Meals, drinks, snacks… record it all! Keep it truthful and see what you can learn about your daily habits.
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