Journaling food allows you to make a connection between your body and the food you eat. It can help you to improve or even repair your relationship with food and help you to better understand what food and pattern of eating works best for you and your life.
From my experience tracking calories alone may hinder your relationship with food. When we focus only on calories you are looking at food to see if it “fits” versus how you feel when you eat it – is it filling and satisfying? Calories can be a useful tool, and it can be only one piece of the puzzle.
7 reasons why it is important to journal your food.
- You can track more than just calories
- You can look at the balance or your meals, the timing of your meals, hydration and supplements as it relates to energy levels, sleep, stress, gastrointestinal distress, immune response, blood pressure, lab values and performance.
- It allows you to make more of a personal connection to your goal because it gives you time and space to reflect
- For Example, I find I have to continual focus on getting 8-10 cups of water in a day. This is important to me because when I am properly hydrated my performance is better, energy is more consistent in the day and my cravings are significantly lower. Taking time to reflect on how hydration makes me feels versus checking off glasses at the end of the day is one small way I can be empowered to take charge of my health.
- Allows you to see if your actions are in line with your goals
- Consistency is key when wanting to develop lifelong habits that promote health. By journaling you can see how consistently you are achieving your goal.
- Allows you to see your life as a bigger picture instead of disconnected parts
- You will begin to see how stress, sleep and energy levels are connected to how you fuel your body and move your body. By collecting data on yourself you can make more informed decisions about your health, and support you to make the changes and move forward with your goals, instead of delving into the past.
- Allows you to understand your choices
- Because it allows you to make connections, maybe that craving at 3pm coffee break or after dinner isn’t a lack of will power (I can assure you it’s not), but it’s because you didn’t to eat enough earlier on in the day, or you miss vegetables at lunch, or you didn’t have enough water, self-care or sleep. Journaling our food allows us to draw connections and better understand why our body is signalling to us, and what does it mean.
- It allows you separate the emotions:
- When you look at objective data you can more clearly see the cause and effect versus when journal mentally. It is harder separate out the emotions in the moment and can lead to increase negative throughs and over exaggeration of a situation.
- You can and should celebrate your successes and learn from your struggles:
You are in your body for life. Working on developing a relationship with yourself based on respect and trust allows you to nourish your body in a way that feels good and move your body in a way enjoy that adds to the enrichment of your life. This allows you to experience daily joy and move towards your health goals.
By Kelsey Hagen, Registered Dietitian
Revive Wellness Inc.