In a world filled with complicated gadgets and expensive diet programs it is easy to forget that sometimes the simplest tools are the most effective when it comes to supporting health, wellness, and nutritional goals. One such tool that no healthy eating arsenal is complete without is the humble food journal. Yes, the simple act of recording what you are eating can be a tremendous aid in propelling you towards a healthier lifestyle. Logging what you eat, when you eat it, and how you feel throughout the day can completely revolutionize your eating habits. Read on to find out why!
- Remedy Nutritional Gaps. Even the healthiest eaters among us can unwittingly overlook key nutrients. By recording everything you eat for at least a couple of weeks you’ll have the data you need to see if there are any areas in your diet that needs improvement and then adjust them accordingly.
- Spot Unhealthy Patterns. Recording what you eat and when you eat it will also give you the information you need to spot any unhealthy patterns and pitfalls in your diet.Maybe you tend to skimp on what your body needs for breakfast or maybe you overindulge in desserts in the evenings—whatever the issues may be, your food journal will reveal them so that you can fix them.
- Identify Problematic Foods. Food allergies and intolerances can contribute to a host of health problems, ranging from mild inconveniences to serious health conditions. The challenge comes in the fact that it’s not easy to pinpoint which food(s) may be triggering the problems. By logging what you eat and how you feel, you’ll better be able to identify what the problem may be. Plus, if you need the help of a physician in treating your concerns, your food journal can be a valuable tool to share with your doctor.
- Teach Kids (and adults!) How Food Affects the Body. It’s one thing to tell your kids (or yourself!) that sugar can leave them feeling sluggish or that including protein in a meal can keep them feeling full longer, but until they experience it for themselves it’s hard to really believe it until they experience it firsthand. So instead of nagging kids (or spouses!) to eat a healthier diet, encourage them to keep a food journal so they can see for themselves the difference healthy eating makes!