When looking to lose weight, exercise is always something people think about, but really what promotes healthy weight loss and provides results is changing your diet and eating healthier. We recently talked about counting calories and why it’s important, but if you want to take it a step further or look for a different approach to tracking the food you eat, try food journals.

What is a Food Journal?

Food journals are a daily log of what you are eating each day, and at what time you are eating. If you are on an Options Diet Plan, food journals are a great way for both you and your weight loss expert to understand your different eating habits. Once you have a good understanding of your eating habits, it makes it easier to change them.

Once you make changes to your diet, food journals are also great for understanding what is working, what isn’t, and if any changes need to be made. While having a food journal can be tedious work and require some attention, the benefits, if used correctly, can really help increase your weight loss.

Benefits of Food Journals for Weight Loss

Food journals can be great resources for you as you’re navigating your weight loss journey. If you are hesitant to start a food journal or aren’t sure its worth it, below are a few things they help with.

  • Hold you accountable

Food journals are great at holding you accountable. When you are constantly writing down what you eat, you may be more hesitant to snack or break your diet because you will need to record it. Logging your food is a constant reminder to watch what you are eating and when you are eating.

  • Understand eating habits

It’s hard to track your eating habits without know when or what you are eating each day. When you begin tracking your food, you can look back at past days, or even weeks, to see what different patters there are. Not only does this help you, but if you’re working with one of our weight loss experts, they are able to analyze your eating patterns and provide you with feedback and how to better improve your diet.

  • Identify foods you like and don’t like

Knowing what foods you like and don’t like can be extremely helpful when on a diet. In your food log, keep track of meals you like, and don’t like, so you can look back on them and keep your diet full of delicious meals. You can either use a rating system (1-10) or keep it simple and just mark the meals as “good” or “bad”. It’s totally up to you!

  • Track calories

Tracking calories is taking your food journal to the next level. This requires you to understand each meal you are eating and the portion size. While tracking calories can be more difficult, it really helps you keep up to date on your caloric intake and if you have been hitting your goal.

  • Help change behaviors

Finally, food journals can help change your eating habits and behaviors. Once you use your food journal enough, it will eventually form from a routine into a habit, and you won’t have to think about it. This also means that eating healthy and forming new eating habits will follow closely behind. Once you do something enough, it will become automatic and won’t seem as difficult as when you first started. Even though starting a food journal can be tough, sticking with it will help you start a new healthy lifestyle!

Food Journal Tips and Tricks

Before jumping in and starting a food journal, here are some of our best tips and tricks that will make your food journal journey a success.

  • Write things in your phone

If you don’t want to bring your food journal everywhere you go or happen to forget it, tracking food in your phone is a good alternative. Your log can be held in your phone, or you can write down everything you ate in your journal later that day. Find what is easiest for you and go with it. There is no wrong way to start a food journal, as long as you try!

  • Set your intentions

Before starting, make sure you are realistic about the process and are committed to making it a habit. Starting a food journal will require self-discipline and effort, so make sure you are ready before you begin. If you aren’t it could cause you to give up and feel as though your goal is not achievable.

  • Show yourself compassion

Being able to show yourself compassion will make or break your weight loss journey. Weight loss isn’t easy for anyone, and you will encounter different roadblocks. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Losing weight and staring a food journal will take time and there will be ups and downs, but you can do it!

You don’t have to be alone when pursuing your weight loss goals. If you find yourself struggling and need some help, contact us to get your free consultation and speak with an expert. Here at Options Medical Weight Loss, we aren’t hiding behind doors. We are with you every step of the way to provide weight loss advice and support along the way.