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Do You Use A Food Journal?

By Susan Schade
 
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Do You Use A Food Journal? 1 5 1
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It was several years ago that I first did this. I was interested in losing some weight, shaping up, the usual. But I was most interested in seeing what I was putting into my body without really thinking about it.

So when I began, I did not attempt to limit anything that I was eating. I wanted to see what foods, portions and at what times during the day I was eating.

Everyday, in a notebook, I wrote down what I was eating, how much and at what time. I also recorded the calories and fat grams that went along with the foods that I was eating.

After recording my eating habits for a couple of days, I saw where changes could be made to improve my diet. I had three main problems -- portion size, food choices, and a “weak” time of the day for snacking.

Portion Size:
If you are not used to measuring out portion sizes, you might be eating more than you think. I was.

For example, dry cereal has a portion size that can vary from ½ cup to 1 cup, depending upon type. That is not much in a bowl.

I considered myself a fairly healthy eater but even with choosing decent foods, I was eating more than I realized. This also made me a more educated label reader.

I was making protein smoothies for meals or snacks, but never read the label on the frozen fruit to know that sugar had been added. As a result, I began buying organic frozen fruit where fruit is the only ingredient. And I stopped being tricked by processed food labeled “low fat” and “fat free.”

Food Choices:
Okay, I was not eating as healthy as I thought. When I looked at my list, it was clear. There were changes that could be made.

I had to be ready to make some better choices. I could still have ice cream, just not several nights a week after dinner, which was my dessert habit.

For me, eating can sometimes just be a habit. For example, if I go to the movies, I want popcorn. And if I go there hungry, it is probable that I will eat the entire bag.

So I change the habit. I make sure that I don’t go hungry or order the smallest (and worst-valued) bag and share it with my husband.

Cutting back on sugar is always a challenge for me because I like it.

Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I've written an article titled "Keeping a Diet Journal Helps With Weight Loss" and one of the things that you quickly realize with a food journal is recognize trends, both bad and good, in our habits. It's that realization that will help you adjust your behavior in a positive manner, whether that's not eating after a certain time, mood changes, or not exercising.

For more articles, visit The Underground Bootcamp

April 17, 2012 - 11:42pm
Melissa6666

Having a food journal is actually a good idea because you keep track of your diet and having your meals at the right time of day is the best way to keep your body healthy. Late meals are not healthy at all and having track of your meals daily is really a good idea.

Melissa

March 30, 2012 - 7:01pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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