Can Food Journaling Help With Weight Loss?

Food Journal with Apple, Peach and Spinach

Weight loss is not all about the latest diet fad, the latest "superfood" or the latest exercise machine.  Medical studies have shown that making changes in the food that actually comprises your daily menu plan is the most effective way to lose weight.  Exercise and other factors can help keep the weight off, but changing daily eating habits is the best long-term weight loss solution.  Changing one's diet as a part of lifestyle change is the most effective way to go about this.  While this sounds simple, food is not a simple topic at all, nor are daily eating habits easy to break.

Food journaling is one method of really paying attention to daily food habits, both the conscious and the unconscious ones.  It is a method that nutritionists use to help patients track their food habits for diseases like diabetes, or conditions such as vitamin deficiencies.  Modern food journaling can be done with a smart phone app, which makes the journaling much easier to implement and maintain. 

Food journaling involves writing down everything that one eats and drinks over the course of a day.  There is other information that should also be included with this food log.  Be sure to note portion sizes in addition to logging what was actually consumed, and when.  Often, under-eating at one meal can result in overeating at the next. 

Food journaling should also include stressors and emotional states before eating, and how one feels both physically and emotionally after eating.  Dietary changes are often keyed in with emotional states, and so this information is very important.

Other techniques that can help with dietary changes include shopping the perimeter of the grocery store only, reducing or eliminating soda and other sugary drinks, shopping farmer's markets or joining a food co-op, and learning which foods are easy to prepare as well as keep on hand.


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