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How To Keep A Food Journal And Write Your Way To Health

Nov 22, 2007
Research has shown that the number-one, ultimate diet tool is a food journal. It's also the best way to drop pounds in the long term. Why? Because it helps you become acutely aware of how food really affects your body, your weight, your well-being and how you feel from day-to-day. Keep reading for great tips on how to do it right.

In an ideal food journal situation, you should track everything you eat, along with the time that you ate it, the amount that you ate, where you were at the time, your hunger level (pick a scale like 1 to 5) and how you actually felt - your emotional state (sad, happy, bored, etc). Make your entries right away, and if you're busy, scribble it on the closest piece of paper and add it to your journal later. Better yet, snap a photo of your meal with your camera phone and send a quick text message to yourself with the details.

Keep a journal for at least three days, including a weekend day. Do it longer, if you can. You want to be able to identify critical eating patterns that could be ruining your diet goals. Most people find it useful to keep a food diary the entire time that they're dieting as it helps you stay on top of what's going in.

When you review your diary, look for those tell-tale patterns. See where you're taking in the bulk of your calories and also why you're eating. If you're always grabbing a donut when you're stressed at work, then you can recognize that pattern and find a work-around. If you're binging on snacks after 8pm, then you know that's your culprit. Once you identify the problem, you can make a resolution to stop it and reach your slim-down goal.
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