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Lose the Weight, Track Your Food (5 Reasons Why You Should Keep a Food Journal)

Updated: Jul 23


In counseling my patients for weight loss, I always start with advising to keep a food journal. Here’s 5 reasons why.

1. Self-discovery

Food journal allows you to discover more about yourself, your choices. Oftentimes, the food that we pick at the moment are tied with how we are feeling. We have come to look at food as a way to cope rather than fuel for our body. We eat not necessarily when we’re hungry. We turn to food when we are bored, sad, stressed. Knowing what you eat, when you eat and why you eat will help you discover why you might be gaining weight or unable to lose the weight. When using this tool, however, it is important to approach it with curiosity rather than judgment. And use what you learn to help you succeed. 2. It Keeps You Accountable

Keeping a food journal keeps you accountable. Once you have developed your healthy eating plan, keeping a food journal helps you stick with the plan and helps you reach your health goals.

3. It is a historical record

We’ve all heard about history quotes like “those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.” Diligently logging your food daily makes you acutely aware of what you’re doing right, or what might be going against your goals. Just to drive a point, keeping a food journal leads to self-discovery and as you look back on your daily journal, everyday is an opportunity to get better, and hopefully help you slowly discard the habits that led to weight gain in the first place.

4. It is low-cost

In fact, it is no cost to you other than a few minutes of your time! You can use old pen and paper or notebook, or you can use free apps such as Myfitnesspal. There are paid apps too, like Noom, which sends users a daily reminder and additional behavioral advice.

5. It sets you up for success

Research have shown that people who tracked their food intake lost significant amount of weight even without following a particular diet. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190228154839.htm If you are in the beginning of your weight loss journey or wanting to revamp or restart your efforts, food journaling is a great place to start. Have a good foundation of self-knowledge or awareness, making yourself accountable by diligently logging everyday, set your goals and do not lose sight of it.

Here are links to downloadable food journals:


You can go as detailed as the one published by Harvard

https://domf5oio6qrcr.cloudfront.net/media/content/files/health-report-pdfs/Food-Diary.pdf


Or start very simple with the CDC chart

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/pdf/food_diary_cdc.pdf


The key is consistency and learning the lessons as you go. You got this! Good luck!


DISCLAIMER: Lea Famularcano, MD is a medical doctor, but she is not your doctor, and she is not offering medical advice on this website.  If you are in need of professional advice or medical care, you must seek out the services of your doctor or health care professional.



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