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When you think about keeping a journal, I bet you don’t associate it with healthy eating. To most people, journaling sounds like something a kid does when they’re in high school to sort out their feelings or write about a crush in class. But the daily writing process behind journaling actually has many practical uses, among them the ability to help you get a hold on healthy eating habits. A good old fashioned journal might be just the thing you need if you’re struggling to maintain a healthy diet.
Sounds crazy, right? Hear me out.
Some evidence of food journaling’s effectiveness
A recent article from WebMD explains the food journaling phenomenon, and how it can help people take control of their eating habits. The article discusses the findings of a study where a group of dieting women were compared based on whether or not they kept a food journal and how that affected their overall weight loss.
The women who kept food journals tried to record everything they ate when they ate it so they could refer back to previous meals whenever they wanted. The women who didn’t keep food journals just ate according to their diets. The findings were that the women who kept food journals tended to lose more weight than those who didn’t. The women who kept food journals also tending to avoid eating extra meals or skipping out on routine meals, both of which can contribute to weight gain.
Why food journaling works
There’s something to be said about writing down every single meal you eat. Food journaling makes you more aware of your eating habits—every indulgence is there for you to see, as is every time you choose wisely when it came to mealtime. If you’re not keeping track of you habits, it’s easy to pretend to forget them. Without a food journal, you can pretend that you forget about that hamburger you had the other day or the week that you skipped lunch because you thought it would help you lose weight faster. No one’s holding you accountable, but you can hold yourself accountable with a food journal.
There’s also a sense of accomplishment you get from cataloging your meals day after day. When you have a good string of meals, it feels great to write them out and affirm your progress—you’re essentially giving yourself a much-needed pat on the back. In the same vein, you’ll feel that much worse for lapsing on your diet if you write down the time you ate that burger that you should’ve stayed away from. All the calories are there for you to see. A food journal is the perfect way to remind yourself of the ongoing struggle involved with dieting.
Will you give it a try?
So will you give food journaling a chance? Do you think that recording your meals in a notebook will help you stay on top of a healthy diet? Let me know!
Melissa Miller has sworn her life to helping others do the same by explaining the often tricky world of online education. Direct any questions or comments to melissamiller831 (at) gmail.com.