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The Benefits To Keeping A Food Journal

When signing up for a custom nutrition program the first thing I ask of you is to get started on your 3 to 5 day food journal. I always stress the importance of recording EVERYTHING, even if its “5 Skittles at 3:30pm.” I find that in doing so, recording your food can be quite eye-opening, especially when in your mind you only ate “5 Skittles at 3:30pm”, but looking back, you’ve actually eaten about 500 Skittles throughout the day through mindless eating!

I also like to see at what times my clients are eating, when they are working out and how much water/beverages they are drinking each day. All of this helps me to understand what is going on with your body, hormones and metabolism and how your eating patterns are also affecting your workouts and if there are any certain times throughout the day that tend to be problem times for you. Problem as in, you tend to snack more at certain times of the day, or if you go for long periods of time in your day without eating anything at all or maybe you do awesome all week, but then the weekend hits and BAM! You’ve blown it! Depending on the client I might even go a step further and provide them with my “How Food Feels” journal to pinpoint if there may be some food intolerances that are creating digestive distress (bloating, gas, fatigue, etc.) or my Behavior Awareness worksheet to track eating and binge behaviors such as: What was I doing/thinking before my binge? Who was I eating with? Where did I eat? Was I sitting or standing? All this information helps to establish certain patterns and areas of improvement that could be sabotaging your success.

When it comes to food journaling, there’s no such thing as TOO much information! I recommend using an app such as My Fitness Pal, in MFP there’s an area to add food notes where you can add things like “After eating oatmeal, I became bloated.” You can also track your measurements such as weight, bodyfat, and body measurements. If an app is too much of a hassle or stressful for you, then I recommend good old-fashioned pen and paper or a journal. There are a ton of great ones out there that can be as plain as a notebook or as fancy as you want to make it with different colored pens and stickers!

Tracking your food, water, fitness and how you feel after eating along with how you felt during your workouts are all important things when it comes to your success. It helps you to learn more about you, your energy levels, how much you are (or aren’t) eating and drinking. After a week of journaling a great idea is to reflect back on what you’ve eaten and if doing this on your own vs. with working with a coach, set daily, weekly and monthly goals for yourself based on your observations. Some great ideas for those goals would be:

1. Drink 100oz. of water daily.

2. Eat a handful of veggies with every meal.

3. Eat every 3-4 hours.

4. Eat out only once a week.

5. Limit the amount of sugar I eat.

You can also add in some fitness goals for yourself as well, such as:

1. Walk 10k steps a day.

2. Workout 3 to 5 times each week.

3. Put my gym clothes in my car so I can workout after work.

4. Wake up 30 minutes early so I can meditate and do light yoga.

5. Run a 5k.

Once you have these goals set out for yourself, make sure you display them in a place that you’ll see all day long such as your desk, refrigerator or bathroom mirror! Set yourself up for success with knowing what you need to get done in order to achieve your goals!

Did you know that we offer food and workout journal consultations? Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment!

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