We’ve just past the holiday eating glut and we’ve maybe even tried to put some New Year resolutions into place with or without success, so, trying something new at this moment… like the idea of starting a food diary… may seem overwhelming. And, the thought of keeping a journal of every little bite or drink tasted may seem unrealistic.
Even if you don’t actually start an eating journal right now, setting a plan in motion to do so will get your mind, then body, in motion. So… here a few tips and the reasons why starting and keeping a food diary is a great idea at any time of year… and to consider starting now:
Helps With Your Weight Loss Journey
While it’s nothing new, wanting to lose weight is still one of the most common reasons to keep a food diary. If weight loss is your focus, writing down everything you eat or drink will help you notice the snacks, the meals, the amounts and types of foods you are consuming. Seeing this list in front of you will help you better determine foods or drinks that might be negatively affecting your ability to lose weight. Really taking notice of the types of foods and amounts of foods, or even when they are consumed, will help you note any unhealthy habits and become a bit more accountable…. which, if changed or omitted, could account for some extra pounds off your body!
Discover Foods Associated with Stomach or Body Pains
It’s always surprising to find out that something you are eating might be the cause of some chronic or undiagnosed stomach or body pain. Everything we eat does have a direct effect on anything that goes on inside our bodies… including what comes out and how. So, if you are having trouble finding the diagnosis of a certain physical body issue or pain, whether in your bones, bowels, stomach, throat, muscles or anywhere, keeping a journal of your food intake, from time of day to types of foods eaten can help you or your doctor see a possible pattern or reason why certain foods might be affecting a certain part or area in your body. Food is your body’s fuel, so it would make sense that some incorrect method of fueling might have an effect on its functioning.
You are what you eat so a diary of what you eat could tell an amazing and helpful story about you!
Determine Food Triggers & Unhealthy Eating Habits
Eating too much, eating too little, eating some of this or none of that, eating then and eating now… Keeping daily track of your eating and drinking, from time of day to what you were feeling at the time, can help pinpoint possible triggers and help you determine if you have developed some bad eating habits. Those triggers or bad eating habits can be causing all sorts of issues for your physical health and mental well-being. Keeping a journal of what you are eating and drinking when, where and why can help determine issues that participate in weight gain or weight loss, body pains, sleeping issues… and so much more.
Resolve Stress & Mental Health Issues
You are what you eat so a diary of what you eat could help assess or analyze what’s going on in the body and the brain. Maybe you are eating something that makes you feel good but through journaling you soon find it’s maybe something you are eating too much of, which may be adding to weight gain, which is causing you stress and so you eat more, because it made you feel good. Maybe something you are eating is causing upset in your stomach that is keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep, but you keep eating it because you think it’s healthy but maybe not for your body. Looking at the foods and regularity or patterns of how you feel and what you eat can directly help you find items that might be causing the stress or mental health related issues.
A food diary can help you to take a mindful approach to checking in with yourself on how you feel before, during, and after you eat. Attention and awareness of your individual diet and habits can be helpful for making better decisions about your eating. Tracking what you eat can take as little as 15 minutes a day when done regularly and reap huge benefits toward your body and overall health.
Best Apps for Food Journaling & Food Tracking
MyFitnessPal. This app is one of the most sought-after apps in the food diary game. The MyFitnessPal app is available for free through iTunes and Google Play.
Fitocracy Macros. Macros is shorthand for macronutrients—specifically the nutrients that your body needs in copious amounts (hence the term “macro”). The Fitocracy Macros app is available for free through iTunes.
Keto Diet Meal Plan. The Keto Diet Meal Plan app provides you with meal plans within your carb limits. The Keto Diet Meal Plan app is available for free through iTunes.
Rise Up. Rise Up is an app designed with eating disorder sufferers in mind. Its basic principles of self-monitoring are derived from tenets of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The Rise Up app is available for free through iTunes and Google Play.
Yazio. This app caters to the versatility of the average individual’s weight loss goals, whether your desire is to lose weight, acquire more muscle, or to just feel healthier. Yazio app is available for free through iTunes and Google Play.
See How You Eat. The See How You Eat app was designed with visual learners in mind. Using this app, you can see at a glance all of the food you have consumed that day. The See How You Eat app is available for free through iTunes and Google Play.
MyPlate. With its online food diary, this app enables users to monitor their daily calorie consumption as well as how many calories they burn with their database of 625,000 foods and 1,500 fitness related items. The MyPlate app is available for free through iTunes.
YouAte. The YouAte app encourages users to steer their focus away from traditional carb counting and calorie emphasis by allowing you to take a closer look at the food choices you are making. The YouAte app is available for free through iTunes.
Pukapal. Users of this app “feed their puka” by documenting and sharing their meals and by liking their favorite dishes. Pukapal allows users to upload photos of their food to their timeline, add captions, and earn rewards. The Pukapal app is available for free through iTunes.
My Food Diary. The My Food Diary app features seven different methods for logging meals and a vast database of 80,000 expertly complied food items. The My Food Diary is available for free to members of the MyFoodDiary website.
No matter your decision for the best way to journal what you eat, the choices and selections are greater, the methods are easier, the information will be enlightening and can even be fun, so… just do it!
Resources: LivingSafer.com Apps for Food Journaling