The Positive Effects Of Food Journaling

By Chelsea Becker

At first glance, food journaling might seem like a crazy or annoying concept—writing down everything you eat throughout the day and then looking back? Eeek, sounds like torture. But, it's surprisingly simple and a great way to start off the new year being intentional about your diet (and lifestyle as a whole). It's an incredible way to keep your eating habits in check—plus lots more.

food journaling
credit: Unsplash

Perspective

Just like anything else, writing down what you eat provides an enormous amount of clarity. There might be days where you think you ate tons of veggies and really got your greens in, but then you check your food journal and realize you actually only had a green smoothie, which is great, but you were feeling like Popeye when the reality is that you only had one serving of vegetables. This might make you feel down for a second, but now you know where to make improvements instead of constantly just taking shots in the dark.

What your body responds well to

The best part of having a food journal is having a record of everything you eat, so when you have an upset stomach or spend lots of time in the bathroom, you can look back at what you ate that day and know with certainty what caused it. Contrary to this, when you feel great and full of energy, you'll also know what you're fueling your body with and can therefore give it more of whatever made it feel so good.

Structure/Routine

Some people thrive on routines and schedules, so if that's you, you'd probably love food journaling. After keeping a record of your eating habits for a while, you'll learn what you need more of and what you could probably do with a little less of. This allows you to meal prep and plan in advance, so eating throughout the week becomes a breeze.

Discovering triggers of unhealthy eating

It will start to become pretty obvious when you tend to eat more unhealthy, out of character things. For example, when you're cooking for yourself at home, you usually prepare a balanced meal, but when you go out with girlfriends, being in a restaurant triggers your need for that greasy, fried food. And don't get me wrong, we all need a little fried food in our life, but it's so interesting to know the time and places that trigger that "need".

An overall healthier diet

At the end of the day, when we're more aware of what we're eating, we tend to make better choices. Simple as that. You know how the old phrase goes—knowledge is power—and in this case, having an understanding of the foods you enjoy eating, but also make your body feel amazing is pretty powerful knowledge.