Category Archives: Weight loss

Food Journals

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I don’t always use a food journal with my clients but there are times when a food journal can be a valuable tool. When a client first comes to me, a food journal can help me see opportunities for improving their nutrition or if a client hits a plateau we can see what is happening with their nutrition not just speculating or basing decisions on what the client is telling me they are eating. I typically use a food journal for a check-in to see what is going on not as a permanent tool.

There are free online food journals like myfitnesspal, my-calorie-counter or fitday that count your calories. Using an online journal is much easier now than having to look up the nutritional breakdown of everything that you eat. These online journals will set a daily calorie intake goal for you or you can set your own calorie targets and you can customize your macronutrient ratios and track other aspects of your daily nutrition such as sodium intake or daily fibre intake.

Whether you are trying to lose weight or gain weight, whether count your macros, are trying to go low carb or low fat, a food journal is a useful tool to help you out along the way.

Here are my top 5 reasons why you should be using a food journal.

  1. count your calories. although counting calories is an inexact science, those  struggling with weight  are quite often eating too many or too few calories each day. If we are trying to lose weight and are over eating it is useful to get an idea of how many calories that we are eating each day. We can use our food journal to make changes day to day.
  2. keep your macros in balance. When we eat we want to keep our macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fat) in proper proportion. No matter what diet you are on you are going to have a guideline on how much to eat in what proportion. If you are trying to reduce your fat or carbs it is useful to know what you are eating and how much each food that you eat contains. By looking at this each day you will know if you are eating too much fat or too many carbs and will be able to adjust quickly not waiting for a scale to tell you to make changes.
  3. consistency. makes us aware of what or how much we are eating or patterns our eating does not have to be out of control to have days where we over eat and days when we do not eat enough. By keeping a food journal we can keep an eye on what is going into our body from day to day.
  4. check to see what is working or not working. As we progress through our program we can go back an look at what we ate rather than guessing what caused a problem or worked well. If we gain weight or hit a plateau we can look back and see that maybe we ate too much of something or we can mor accurately attribute what is happening on the scale to what we ate.
  5. can be a deterrent to overeating. Just by having to write down what you eat can be a deterrent. You do not want to write down something that you know is not good for you so you do not eat it. Somehow writing it down makes it real and this makes us less likely to eat it.

So as you can see food journals can be useful in many ways and with online journals they do not have to be a burden to use. There are simple solutions tho the old food journal excuses, focus on the positive aspects of food journalling and use them to help you achieve your goals.

Category: Nutrition, Weight loss