Several months ago I read an article on US News about how keeping a food journal is helpful to weight loss.
Keeping a food journal is helpful to weight loss? No kidding!
Most of us know by now that if we want to really lose weight we have to track our intake. It’s too easy to let things slide and conveniently forget bites when we aren’t tracking.
Now that I’m reading Potatoes Not Prozac and following the plan in there tracking my meals and how I’m feeling is even more important. I’ve moved back to using pen and paper in a cute notebook:
There are several different ways to keep a food journal. I’ve tried them all at this point and these are my favorites:
- Online calorie tracker. You can use a online calorie counter application like My Fitness Pal or Daily Burn to track your calories. Software like this take a lot of the effort and guess work out of journaling your food and calculating your calories.
- Pen and paper. Pen and paper can sometimes be easier than using a web based software. It also can be good if you aren’t counting calories but still want to track the food you ate in some way. You can write what you ate along with portion information, how you felt, or whatever you feel like tracking as well. If you need a bit of structure, many people use and recommend the Fitbook: Fitness and Nutrition Journal.
- Food photo journal. I love doing a photo journal of my food. It reminds me to eat pretty things and to keep my portions reasonable. There are plenty of options for keeping a photo food journal, from using a fancy dslr and blogging to just snapping iphone photos for your own personal use. If you want to share for accountability some people use sites like Instagram or Twitter for this.
With all the different ways you can track and journal your food it’s hard to think of reasons why you can’t.
If one method doesn’t work for you or isn’t working currently try switching it up and using another method. Changing how you journal your food will make you take a closer look at what you are eating, guaranteed.
Do you keep a food journal? Which method do you use?