Food Journals – Part I

I had a friend who never balanced her checkbook. She never knew if there was enough money in the bank to cover her transactions. She panicked quite often, called her automated teller system to find out which debits and credits had occurred in order to get a “general idea” of her balance. It made me thankful that I didn’t have to live in such a state of emotional upheaval!

I recently realized that basically many people handle their nutritional lifestyle the same way. They play it by ear, never knowing how many calories that they consume in a given day. I hear it often, “I don’t understand why I cannot lose weight. I eat healthy.” Yet, when questioned for a day’s worth of menus, there is nothing healthy about it. Daily, we are faced with food at every turn (fast food, snack food, fried food, carb heavy food, and even “comfort” food). It is imperative that we educate ourselves on the nutritional values of food options as this will help us choose healthier substitutes.

A study was published in the August 2008 issue of American Journal Of Preventive Medicine where two groups of people were examined for a period of time. One group maintained food journals, the other did not. The final determination was made that those who kept a food journal were more successful in losing weight than those who did not. There are valid reasons and positive benefits for those who utilize the tool of a food journal.

Recording every thing you put into your mouth (including food, beverages, condiments, spices, sauces, candy, and dessert) is much like keeping track of your bank account. As you enter food choices, you will be able to tell how much more you can eat and remain on budget. Failure to keep track of the choices could cause a deficit, causing a negative impact such as no weight loss or even weight gain!

I would like to make a challenge. Over the next few days after reading this, begin to write down everything you consume in order to get an accurate reflection of your nutritional intake. You can choose whichever system works best for you, a pad of paper or a website. Two great ones which are free include: Livestrong (formerly The Daily Plate) and Fitday. *It’s easier to enter them all into a computer program because it automatically calculates the math for you. This is the conclusion of part one, but come back soon for Part 2 where we will discuss the results of your “homework”.

Until next time,
PROTEIN FIRST!

Melinda Richardson

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One Response for Food Journals – Part I

  1. PlayfulArtist

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    August 29, 2009 8:32 pm

    Right on Melinda!! Great advice and so true.

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