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How to Keep a Food Journal

By Lana Bandoim

Whether you are working with a nutritionist or trying to lose weight, a food journal can make it easier to keep track of meals and calories. Writing down the food that is consumed every day helps people notice patterns. Pay attention to these food journal tips.

Keep It Simple

A food journal does not have to be complicated. Although it can include calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and other data for each meal, the journal can also be simple. Experiment with different styles to find the right food journal for your lifestyle. Try online apps and paper notebooks to keep track of meals.

Daily Requirements

A food journal will not work without a daily commitment. Avoid skipping the weekend or not writing down the late evening snacks. You do not have to document every piece of gum. However, it is important to include snacks, drinks and meals. Consider taking the food journal to work or on vacation, so the information is complete.

Include Portion Sizes

It is important to include portion sizes in a food journal. Consider writing down how many crackers, chips, cookies or celery stalks are consumed throughout the day. This can help you look for patterns and different ways to cut calories or lose weight.

Add Feelings

Some people include their feelings in the food journal. For example, they may write down that they felt bored, angry, frustrated, happy or sad during a meal. They may also include their feelings after eating a meal. It can help people who struggle with emotional eating. Try this method and experiment with adding your feelings to the journal.

Add Activities

It may help to add activities to a food journal. If you constantly eat lunch during meetings at work, then this is an important note that belongs in the journal. The activities that surround meals can affect what and how people eat. Keep track of what you are doing before, during and after each meal.

Analyze the Results

Writing in a food journal is not enough. You have to analyze the results and study them to make changes. Look for patterns among food choices and try to improve the diet. Focus on making better food choices that will improve overall health.

A food journal is an easy way to keep track of everything you eat. Try these tips and document the next week of meals.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Pinole, Calif.

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