Food Journal

Six Ways Logging Your Meals Can Boost Weight Loss

Most people know that eating fewer calories will help them lose weight; however, many people do not know that logging what you eat can boost your weight loss efforts. Tracking what you eat and drink will help you see the big picture of why you aren't losing weight, will help you become more aware of portion sizes and help you kick unhealthy eating habits. Let's take a look at how you can boost your weight loss by logging your meals.

1. Create awareness: A study published by the Center for Health Research in the National Institutes of Health found that keeping a food journal helped participants achieve significant weight loss. When participants were required to keep a food journal, awareness was created. This awareness helps participants think before they mindlessly eat snacks, drink calorie-laden beverages or skip daily exercises. A food log that tracks calories, as well as physical activity, will help you to lower your caloric consumption while increasing your physical activity. Both of these will help increase your weight loss efforts.

2. Food sensitivities: Did you know that food sensitivities can interfere with your metabolism and cause inflammation in the body? Keeping track of what you eat can help you figure out if you are suffering from any food sensitivities. For example, if you notice that dairy products are causing you to feel bloated, hot or itchy, you may have food sensitivity. Other common food sensitivities include soybeans, peanuts, corn, gluten eggs and tree nuts. Food sensitives may be preventing you from losing weight even when you are dieting and exercising regularly.

3. Prevent nutritional deficiencies: Research has shown that many popular diet plans do not provide you with the recommended daily allowance of nutrients. According to the National Institutes of Health, six nutrients were found deficient in four different diet plans. These nutrients include vitamin D, vitamin B7, vitamin E, iodine, molybdenum and iodine. A food log will help you track the foods that you eat along with the nutritional values found in these foods to help prevent any nutritional deficiencies. When you track what you are eating, you will be able to quickly ascertain if you are eating enough fruits, vegetables and proteins to help prevent nutritional deficiencies.

4. Reduce calories: Food logs can help you identify how you can lower your caloric intake. Many people do not realize that they are drinking so many calories. For example, a twelve ounce serving of soda has 150 calories. Certain fruit juices have more than 200 calories per serving and coffee beverages sweetened with sugar and flavorings can have upwards of 350 calories. In addition to this, a candy bar has more than 200 calories and a one-ounce serving of potato chips contains more than 150 calories. When you begin tracking your calories through a food log, you will begin to pay attention and not mindlessly consume high calorie, low nutrient snacks and drinks.

5. Track your progress: When it comes to losing weight, one of the best ways to stay excited about your weight loss efforts is to track your progress. Tracking your progress involves seeing how well you are staying on your diet as well as the amount of exercise you are getting and the amount of weight that you are losing. When you develop a food log, make sure to include a place to record everything you eat, everything you drink, how much you exercise and your weight. This information can help keep you on track with your weight loss goals.

6. Unveil overeating patterns: One of the most common problems facing overweight and obese individuals is overeating patterns. A food log will force you to keep track of portion sizes and calories. Additionally, food diaries can help you identify triggers that are causing you to overeat, such as not eating enough throughout the day, resulting in binge eating near bedtime. Recording your meals, drinks and snack can help prevent you from overeating and may point towards what has led to weight gain.

Food journals are a great way to track your weight loss progress, keep you aware of portion sizes and calories consumed. Additionally, it will help identify any food sensitivities that may be causing your weight gain and will unveil any patterns that may be causing you to overeat, resulting in weight gain.