Keeping a food journal or log is incredibly helpful whether you wish to lose weight, understand your eating habits better, or improve your diet. A food log is also an excellent tool for determining which foods may be causing negative symptoms, especially if you have a food sensitivity or other conditions like allergies, acid reflux, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Keeping track of your food consumption can help medical experts determine which foods to eliminate, in the case of sensitivities, intolerances, or difficult-to-diagnose allergens. Additionally, food logs can be a beneficial weight loss tool when working with the medical experts at CardioMender, MD, South Florida’s most trusted medically supervised weight loss practice.
Keep reading to learn more about food logs, their benefits, and how to create and keep one.
What is a Food Journal?
A food journal (or “food log”) is a tool for logging and tracking what you eat and drink daily. It also helps you track things like:
- How much you consume daily
- When and where you eat
- The people you eat with
- Your feelings before, during, and after eating
Doctors and dieticians recommend food logs to understand your eating habits and triggers, so they can then determine which foods or ingredients you are sensitive to or how to plan your weight loss program.
Benefits of Keeping Food Logs
A food log has several potential benefits, as discussed below:
- Helps build healthy eating habits. Tracking what you eat and drink daily helps you become aware of your dietary habits and identify and replace unhealthy habits. It also enables you to identify gaps in your diet.
- Promotes weight loss. By increasing awareness many people will choose to select more nutritious foods over calorie-dense choices and reduce their consumption of sugar and unhealthy fats.
- Helps you reach your body goals. By selecting more nutritionally dense and balanced foods, not only do you lose weight, but you optimize your health and wellness.
- Helps you identify food sensitivities. A food log can help you recognize your food sensitivities and the foods that worsen these conditions.
How to Keep a Food Log
Keeping a food journal should not be a complicated affair. Follow the tips below to get started:
Keep Track as You Go
Don’t wait till bedtime to write down what you ate and drank throughout the day because you might miss some items or incorrectly estimate portion sizes. Therefore, jot down everything real-time for accuracy, either in your food diary or keep notes on paper or in your smartphone.
Write Down Everything
Write down what you eat, even if it’s a bite, because even small amounts of some foods can affect outcomes. In addition, what you may consider small snacks throughout the day will add up.
Be specific about everything you write in your food log. For example, include portion sizes, added ingredients, seasonings, and spices. Additionally, use a food scale whenever possible for a more accurate account of what you consume, check ingredients on snack boxes, and if need be, visually compare your portion sizes to other items such as a baseball or fist.
Consider Using an App
Since you carry your phone everywhere, consider using an app to track your food and beverage consumption. Apps have an extensive library of everyday foods and drinks and detailed information on their ingredients and nutritional content. Therefore, they could save you time and eliminate guesswork.
Monitor Your Mood
Monitor your mood changes with and after each meal or snack to identify patterns and understand how your food choices affect you. It’s especially beneficial for people suffering from emotional eating because it helps identify the condition and determine triggers like anxiety or stress.
Every CardioMender, MD patient is given a food log at the beginning of their weight loss journey, and our specialists will give you the understanding needed to help you keep a food log successfully.
Things to Consider About Food Logs
Despite the many benefits of a food log, people who have not taken the opportunity to review a detailed list of what they consume on a regular basis, may be surprised with what they find. For example:
- It can trigger people suffering from eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia.
- It can lead to negative obsessive thoughts about your eating habits.
- It can cause negative feelings like shame or guilt.
- It can cause fixation on specific numbers and details and lead to further destructive eating behaviors instead of using the data to create awareness and make informed, healthy choices.
- It can cause some people to cheat, leading to misdiagnosis.
- It can become a crutch for some people.
Always be honest in your food diary to help your healthcare professional or dietician recommend safe and healthy choices for you. Like any type of personal growth from therapy, it’s important to acknowledge these thoughts, but remember that the road to healthy living sometimes requires changing certain unhealthy habits.
The CardioMender Difference
CardioMender, MD specializes in acute and sustained weight loss, providing effective programs for individuals battling cyclical dieting and ineffective eating plans. Every CardioMender patient receives a food log and the support to effectively track their daily meals, beverages and snacks.
With the exception of certain patients with diabetes, reactive hypoglycemia and certain other conditions, during the first several days of the program our patients begin with a nutritional program designed to induce ketosis, consisting of a low fat, essential protein diet, and regularly scheduled meals and snacks. This is then, within the first week, advanced to a balanced nutritional plan which includes lean proteins and low glycemic index carbs. As weight is lost, more foods are added and once goal weight is achieved, we design a Maintenance program for each of our patients and provide the support needed to allow patients to maintain their weight loss and optimal health.
The CardioMender Food Log included in all weight loss plans helps monitor your daily nutrition and food consumption, so you can focus on your daily life instead of the plate in front of you.
Weight Loss Programs in South Florida
Are you looking for the right weight loss program in South Florida? CardioMender, MD Weight Loss Specialists offers premier weight loss program benefits from the medical expertise of a board certified cardiologist and qualified weight loss team .
Our medically supervised programs have helped many South Florida residents become the people they want to be , inside and out! We also provide the right tools including a food log, support, and life skills to encourage healthier lifestyles. After consulting with each of our clients and evaluating their medical and dietary history, we provide individualized weight loss programs to address their specific needs. Contact us today to start your customized program.
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