When we're craving that cookie or standing in front of a pastry platter, we tend to forget that we had a bagel for breakfast or that we attended two birthday parties over the weekend (cake, ice cream, and fried foods consumed). A journal helps you maintain your honesty and can be used as a mirror of your actions when you see the scale isn't budging.
The IDEA Fitness Journal posted four simple tips in their September 2012 issue that I wanted to share:
- BE HONEST. Record everything you eat
- BE ACCURATE. Measure portions and read labels.
- BE COMPLETE. Include details such as how the food was prepared and which toppings or condiments you added.
- BE CONSISTENT. Always carry your food diary with you or use a diet-tracking application on your smart phone.
I'd also like to add, "NOTE YOUR MOOD." I notice that on days when I feel under the weather or upset, my eating habits completely change. I go for those comfort foods. Making note of how you feel can help you understand what triggers bad eating habits.
If you've never tried keeping a food journal, perhaps its time to give it a shot. Even just a week of noting what you ate, when, where, and why, can really help you better understand the changes you need to make to reach your goals. And if writing things down isn't your style, there are several apps on your mobile device that can help you keep a journal. Weight Watchers and Sparkpeople are my favorite.