What's Going IN?
We keep budgets to know where our money is going & a schedule to know where our time needs to go/ has gone. We know that time & money are valuable, but so is our health...so why wouldn’t we do the same when it comes to what we are putting in our bodies?
When it comes to making lifestyle and behavior changes, we first need to understand where we are currently at and why we want to make those changes and keeping a food journal can help you get started.
Make a food journal and write down everything you eat for a week to see what your current behaviors are & at the end of the week review and see where you can or need to make improvements. For example: are you grabbing a pack of Oreos or wine every night after dinner? Are you reaching for those because you’re stressed after a long day? Find yourself lingering in the kitchen, so you grab it out of boredom or habit? Once you have recognized the habit, you can start taking steps towards changing them. Instead of lingering in the kitchen, try going for a walk, taking a hot bath, or reading a book. Making those small habit swaps over time will help lead to successful lifestyle changes.
In addition to recognizing behavior patterns, reviewing your food log can also help you determine what is or isn’t working for your body. We’ve all seen the memes about how cutting sugar and other carbs can affect our mood. They definitely aren’t without merit. Stomach feeling a little extra bloated, experiencing headaches, or mood swings? Having a record of your recent food choices can help a professional (Doctor, Registered Dietician, or Licensed Nutritionist) determine if those issues could be related to a food sensitivity or other underlying issues.
Those aren’t the only reasons tracking your food can be beneficial though. Sometimes we all just need a little reality check.
“Had a killer workout, so now I can totally eat that chocolate covered croissant.” If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. However, as much as we don’t want to believe it, we truly can NOT out-work a bad diet. Calories in & calories out isn’t that simple...crap calories are still crap calories.
Once you’ve gotten into the habit of tracking your food, apps like MyFitnessPal can take it a step further by showing you the nutritional value of the foods your eating. Being able to see whether or not you are eating a balanced diet by keeping a food log has benefits beyond just counting calories. Knowing when, why, and what you are putting in your body can help you be more mindful of how you are fueling your body and lead to long-term success.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, Registered Dietitian, Licensed Nutritionist. The information presented is purely to share my experience and research that has been made public. As always, check with a doctor before making any fitness or nutrition changes. The author disclaims liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities suggested from this site.