Eating is something we do daily, and yet the attention we give it can be less than minimal. From TV dinners, to on-the-go snacking, so much of what we consume is done with little to no intention or thought. Cue the practice of food journaling- the act of physically writing down or logging your food and beverage consumption. Including things like what you’re eating, when you’re eating it, and how much you’re eating, can have an amazing impact on your fitness journey and overall health. Do you find it hard to lose weight? Are you unsure how to properly schedule your meals? Do you have a hard time keeping your self-perception grounded in reality? Here are some things to consider if you’re trying to better understand the benefits of food journaling.
Adjust Your Schedule
Food journaling is about taking a lot of moving parts and housing them in one place for easy reference. This can lead to several eye-opening discoveries, including figuring out the times of day you eat most frequently. By noting the times of your meals and snacks you can better analyze the correlation between your food schedule and your hunger levels, motivation, and productivity. In doing this, you can time out your daily meals and schedule time to prepare food, ensuring you are properly fueled. Correct scheduling can stop binging, late-night snacking, and reliance on junk food in its tracks.
One of the most significant benefits of keeping a food journal is accountability. As is the case for many people who set goals for themselves, vague phrases and feigned ignorance are often used to offload responsibility for poor choices. With a journal, you keep a record of everything, so you can easily find the cause of any changes in energy or weight. Plus, you might think twice before resorting to an unhealthy meal. If you find yourself telling white lies or bargaining with yourself, this could be the perfect tool to help take accountability for your health.
As is the case with any kind of tracking, keeping a calorie record can mean expending a little more effort- but the payoff is worth it. For athletes of any level, being aware of how many calories you should be consuming based on your height, weight, age, and lifestyle is important for maintaining a healthy weight. Not only this but paying attention to calories means that you will be more aware of the changes required to enter a calorie deficit or surplus for leaning out or building muscle. An easy way to eliminate some of the extra work is to use an intuitive health and nutrition app. The team behind spartan-apps.com explained that a simple and effective app can save time and provide big results. When managing weight and nutrition, making it easy for yourself will increase the likelihood of having follow-through. Plus, electronic resources can act as information centers as well as calculation tools.
Perception vs Reality
For some reason, people seem to forget that a body needs food to function. More than just something tasty, food literally gives you the energy you need to go about your daily activities. That’s why being realistic about what you eat is imperative. By food journaling, many find the harmony they lack between the perception they have of their diets and the reality of their consumption. It’s easy to say you eat a lot of vegetables, but ultimately the numbers don’t lie. When you record it, you can clearly see the relationship between what you’re eating and how it’s making you feel. If you’ve been feeling low energy, a food journal can provide some insight without the need for speculation. That means it can clear up any of the falsehoods you may be harboring, and bring your nutrition plan back to Earth.
Journaling is an excellent practice for your mental health, so it makes sense that food journaling is something to look into if you’re looking to improve your physical health. The act of writing something down is cathartic, but in the case of a food journal, it can also keep you accountable and motivated. A relatively easy practice, this simple habit can positively impact your eating habits and boost your mindfulness during meal times. Keeping a log of everything you’re ingesting is also a great tool for trying to tweak caloric intake, and track macros. Whether or not you’re trying to lose weight, food journaling can open your eyes to things that might have otherwise been left unchecked, or gone unnoticed. If you’re trying to decide whether or not the extra effort is worth it, hopefully, you’ve learned something new and maybe even realized that food journaling is the practice you’ve been missing from your health routine.