When you’re relaxing at the next barbecue or work party, it can be easy to aimlessly snack on whatever food is in the nearest plastic bowl. But that mindless eating can quickly lead to a few pounds added over the summer! If you’re trying to slim down – or simply learn more about your eating habits – journaling is a great way to get insight. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you have to download yet another app to your smartphone. There are plenty of ways you can keep track. Here are just a few suggestions below.
Take photos of your meals – and review them later
Work meetings can run long, errands can drag you from the office to home – and by the time the end of the day rolls around, you can barely remember your name, let alone what you ate. To make it easier, you can snap a photo of your meals and snacks and journal about them later that night. Sarah-Jane Bedwell, R.N. raved about this idea to Self Magazine.
“For some people, taking pictures of their meals and reviewing them at the end of the day is a better way to do this because they can actually see if there is a balance. Look for a variety of food groups and colors, and pay attention to portion sizes,” she said.
You can develop goals around eating more vegetables or reducing how many starches you include in your meals – and see concrete proof of your progress, even if the scale doesn’t budge. Don’t forget to include your drink in the photo. Keep a bottle of water at your desk, so you can continue to stay hydrated.
Handwriting in your food journal can help you slow down and track your progress.
Find a like-minded community
Food journaling can be a grueling experience – and it can be easy to focus on that extra serving of dinner on Friday, instead of all the hard work you did the rest of the week. Redbook Magazine suggested finding a community of individuals striving to make lifestyle changes on MyFitnessPal. This app asks you to track your food and water consumption, while looking at the bigger picture, recording height, weight, age and activity level. You can also challenge other users to keep each other on track.
Make it an enjoyable experience
If you prefer to handwrite your meals, luxuriate in it. Buy a gorgeous notebook – whether leather or embossed – to record your notes. Or, perhaps you could reward yourself with your favorite TV show or new book after you jot down your day’s meals. By making it an enjoyable experience, you’ll be more likely to want to do it again – and that can keep you on track with your goals! And who doesn’t love that?
Food journaling can be the first step in making a big lifestyle change that can leave you happier and healthier. Don’t you want to take the first step?