Not always the most exciting thing to do, but food journaling can be a HUGE help for individuals trying to stay healthy, lose weight, gain muscle, train for an athletic event...etc. Tracking your meals is straight up boring I get it. I get a lot of eye rolls and "do I have to" from clients when I ask them to track their food but there is definitely some reasons to my madness.
*disclaimer: food tracking isn't for everyone. If you have recovered from an eating disorder or fall into controlling patterns with food, tracking may not be for you.
I track my food about three times a year. It isn't sexy, exciting or fun but it helps to provide me with insight. Why do I track my food? I'm a nutritionist I should know what I am doing, right? Well, yes and no. I am a nutritionist YES, and for the most part I have a pretty solid/healthy relationship with food. But this doesn't mean that I am always bang on when it comes to portion sizes, eating enough vegetables or ensuring I am getting enough fiber. I am a nutritionist, but NO I am not perfect when it comes to anything, and that includes my nutrition.
So when it comes down to it I use food journaling or tracking (or whatever we want to call it) for the same exact reasons I ask my clients to keep a food journal for me. Food journaling provides an extra level of insight into our diets and our habits.
Useful information you learn when food journaling:
If you have felt that your eating habits have taken a turn or you have just been doing the same thing day after day and aren't getting the results you have been hoping for food journaling might be the right tool for you. Try it for a few days and see what type of feedback do you get? Are you getting 6-8 servings of vegetables every day? Are you actually drinking enough water? Do you actually eat breakfast and lunch? Are you grazing all day long without actually sitting down to a meal? Remember this is an exercise in getting to know yourself, not control yourself.
Last little side note, when I say food journaling I mean literal pen to paper or just in a notes document on your phone if that's easier. No need for a fancy app (paid or free), just keep it nice and simple. Sure tracking macros and calories can be helpful information, but for most people it is too much information and ends up over complicating the habits/results we are trying to learn about.
Keep it simple, be gentle with yourself and see what you can learn.
My name is Brittany, I am a Holistic Nutritionist, Yoga Teacher and Certified Personal trainer. My hope is to help inspire, encourage and motivate others to live their happiest and healthiest lives.