Accountable for Wellness, Part 2: Food Journaling for Better Wellness
What did you have for lunch yesterday? For breakfast this morning? You did have breakfast, right? Today, we have enough on our busy minds as it is. Trying to remember what you had for each meal and keep a running total of calories, fat grams, or food exchanges in your head is just more clutter among projects, deadlines, and family commitments. This leads to the nugget where most people guess that either they're either doing fine or doing terrible on nutrition, and many don't know for sure how their diet is supporting or sabotaging their goals.
There's a much easier method than guessing. Keeping a food journal will tell you how you're actually doing. Keeping a record of your meals is easy. It can be intimidating to think about tracking calories, fat content, and nutrients in foods. The thing is, you don't necessarily have to know all that for every food to keep a food journal. There are systems that use exchanges for foods (i.e. a slice of bread or 90 calories of carbs are one bread exchange). If you're using a paper journal, one of these systems is likely to work more easily than counting every calorie and stressing over amounts of specific nutrients. As we all know, if a system is fast and easy, we're more likely to use it. Also, an exchange system works to help you make food decisions that support your goals. If you look at your journal and see that you only have 2 fruit and 1 vegetable exchange left for the day, you're less likely to reach for pizza for that evening snack. Over time, this can make a huge difference in your weight loss.
If your world is too busy for learning a system and writing down everything, there are fabulous options available for your smartphone. You can use Evernote or your memo app to simply “write” everything down in your phone files, but there are plenty of options that go far beyond the paper model. You really can pick an app that works with your personal style, whether you don't want to do too much analysis of individual things you eat, or you want a detailed plan that takes you from today's state to your goal state with analysis of every food item. There are even options that allow you to get an analysis from snapping a picture of your meals. There are far too many options to cover them all here. Redbook looked at the options available and published their top 10 apps for food journaling. There are some great ones there and even more that have good features, but didn't make the list. No matter what your style, there's a food journaling app that will enhance your weight loss efforts.
You can't reach your fitness or weight loss goals without paying attention to the vital role nutrition plays. Like they say, “you can't out run a bad diet.” Supplements and support are also invaluable to your efforts. Call or stop by today and see how Lora can help you get in your best shape ever.
M'lis at Lora's Boutique and Wellness
19 N Centennial St, Wishek, ND 58495