It can be really hard to change old habits, even if we have strong intentions and a STRONG desire to change.
Ever hear the phrase “What you measure, you can manage?” Transforming the way you eat requires that you are fully aware of your habits as they are when begin your journey to change them.
The importance of measuring what you change is true for pretty much every area of life…. and it is absolutely true in regards to nutrition. Personally, I keep a food journal for about one week out of every month. It keeps my own nutrition in line.
Keeping a food journal is not only a great exercise, but will help you gain insight into your eating habits and hold you accountable to what you’re putting in your body. There’s no judgment in a journal, just facts. Once you’ve recorded everything, you can analyze it and make changes for the future.
I usually encourage people to use MyFitnessPal an app that you can download for free on your smartphone. You always have your phone with you, so you can record your food right away. AND, the app shows you how many calories you’re eating and the breakdown of your nutrients immediately. This alone is extremely eye opening. The human brain is a peculiar instrument. We believe our brains are “accurate,” our brains tell us they are accurate, HOWEVER, food logs remind us that we are human and our math skills, when it comes to “eyeballing” food intake and calories can be VERY skewed.
Keeping a journal may seem tedious at first, but I challenge you to try and take notes about what you eat this week. It does get easier though the week and you will be surprised about what you learn about the food you are eating.
You may prefer to write down your food and that’s okay too. If you prefer to write your food down use the following
- Write down what time of day you’re eating (and drinking)
- Make sure to include portion sizes (estimate the best you can)
- Write down, or at least take a few moments to be FULLY aware of the emotions you’re feeling before, during, & after you eat
- Write down EVERYTHING that goes into your mouth- even if it’s just one M&M
You might be surprised about what you learn… and if nothing else, it will make you more aware of the quality and quantity of food that you’re putting into your body.
Are you IN for Food Journaling every day this week? If you are, commit in a comment below!