You hear all the time that to lose weight, you should track what you eat. Research says that keeping a food journal helps you lose more weight. Researchers from Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research kept tabs on 1,685 overweight and obese adults (men and women), whose average weight was 212 pounds. After 20 weeks, the average weight loss was 13 pounds per person. But researchers discovered something else; the more participants recorded what they ate, the more weight they lost in the end. Participants who did not keep a food diary lost about 9 pounds over the course of the study, while those who recorded their food intake six or more days per week lost 18 pounds—twice as much as those who didn't track any food.
To start, here are 5 compelling reasons why you should try to keep a journal, even for only a
1) Learn how to control your calories
The most important lesson is learning more about calories in foods you eat on a regular basis. A few days, you may eat more calories, and conversely, you may realize that on certain days you may eat lesser.
2) Understand your sources of calories
Calories aren’t just about total calories, but about the breakdown of protein, carbohydrates, and fat, which are 3 nutrients that provide energy for your body. You’ll also keep track of alcohol, you drink, which is the other element that provides calories to your body but is not a
nutrient. You may realize 70% of your calories are coming from carbohydrates, which is far higher than recommended.
3) Get a feel for portion control
By learning more about calories, you also learn more about portion control and the types of foods you can eat in larger portions like lean meats, vegetables, and certain fruits, and the types of food you want to eat sparingly. Overall, you become far more cognizant of portion
4) Identify if you have a calorie surplus or deficit
Not only does a food journal tell you the total calories you are eating, but you can also figure out how many more or fewer calories you are eating relative to your calorie burn. If you eat more calories than you burn, you gain weight, and if you eat less, you lose weight.
5) If you saw a nutritionist, you would keep a food journal anyways
If you go see a nutritionist, one of the first tasks you will be assigned is keeping a food journal. This helps the nutritionist analyze your eating habits so they can make suggestions as to how you can change them over time. If you are doing this on your own, you’re going to be analyzing your own eating habits on a less detailed level, of course, but it’s still a very, very helpful exercise.
A lot of our habits are subconscious, so making yourself conscious of how you eat by keeping a food journal makes changing your eating habits a whole lot easier. A nutrition expert or an expert dietitian at any of the reputed health clinics would be able to help you with drawing a meal plan for your dietary requirements suiting your health goals and provide you guidelines on how to track the meals too. Talk to one right away!