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NUTRITION HABIT

Food Journal

What and why did you eat?

WHAT:

This habit is about tracking what you eat to increase awareness and mindfulness.

WHY:

People who track what they eat consistently lose more weight than those who don’t.

There are several reasons for this, including:

  • Food journals make you more aware of your eating habits.
  • Food journals keep you honest and accurate about what you eat.
  • Food journals give you a good “State of the Nation” overview of your eating.
  • Food journals help you to identify trends and learn from past behaviours.

Plus, when you have some kind of record of what you ate, you can easily scan back to look for meal ideas that you liked and that worked well.

HOW:

Tracking what you eat doesn’t need to be meticulous calorie counting (although it can be, using something like MyFitnessPal or FatSecret).

Our top recommendation is to simply take a photo of EVERYTHING that you eat before you eat it. That’s it.

Alternatively, write down in plain words what you eat before you eat it.

Over time, you can also look at upgrading your food journal to note things like:

  • How hungry are you (on a scale of 1-10) before you start to eat?
  • How full are you (on a scale of 1-10) when you stop eating?
  • Where/when you are eating?
  • Is it a rushed or relaxing meal?
  • Who are you eating with?
  • How much are you eating?
  • Was it an impulse meal or a planned meal?
  • Was it a meal that moved you closer to your goals, further away from your goals, or left you more-or-less the same?

Be careful not to make this habit too onerous, rather keep it simple and stick to only 1 or 2 questions about your meals else you’ll find it too much of a chore to do.

TIPS:

✅ Keep it simple because tracking your food can be a schlep. So make it as easy as possible to do at first and then add more details over time if you wish.

✅ Be 100% honest because whether you log “good” stuff or “bad” stuff, it’s all just data. It doesn’t judge you or shout at you. But the more accurate it is, the more helpful it is.

✅ Lean in when it gets hard. Tracking the junk foods and 2am snacks that weren’t part of the plan will be more useful than tracking the super duper healthy meals when it comes to troubleshooting progress and ultimately achieving your goals.