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Improve Your Overall Health With A Food Journal

by Leanne J. Sotir, PhD, RNCP

Tips For Using A Food Journal For Your Overall Health

The question “what did you eat today?” takes on a whole new meaning when you start to break it down.  A personal food journal is one of the best tools in attaining optimal health. Although it is often used for weight loss with great success, it can actually be used for investigating the root cause of your health problems.  It allows you to take an honest look at your current dietary and lifestyle habits and see if these may be causing some of your health issues.  Certain foods and beverages you consume on a daily basis can negatively affect your health. You can easily create your own food journal…here are a few tips! To get the most out of your food journal, you want to be as honest about what you record as possible. You also want to be as consistent and as detailed as you can. Your food journal is like a diary….it is private and only meant to be seen by you.

Start by recording meals, snacks, and beverages along with the times they are consumed. You may want to also record your exercise regimen or supplement intake. Your food journal should also have a comment section that can be used to track such things as digestive changes, moods, energy levels etc.  Below are some reasons to use your food journal as well as how to extract helpful information from it.

REASONS TO USE YOUR FOOD JOURNAL

  • Discover negative eating/lifestyle patterns
  • Improve digestion
  • Improve immune system problems
  • Improve your energy levels
  • Weight loss
  • To find out if foods affect your emotions
  • Elimination diet: rule out foods you may be sensitive/intolerant to
  • Improve blood sugar levels
  • Discover what foods work best for your metabolism

PATTERNS TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR JOURNAL

  • Eating a lot of processed foods/fast foods
  • Eating too many sugary foods
  • Drinking too many sugary and caffeinated beverages
  • Dining out too often instead of eating home cooked meals
  • Eating too much of the same type of foods
  • Addicted to certain foods
  • Emotional eating
  • Improvement of health issues or changes in energy levels
  • Overeating

It’s best to use your journal for as long as you find it helpful. You may decide you notice certain things or patterns you want to change right away or it may take you a while to find out what is causing some of your symptoms.  A food journal can be life changing. Give it a try!!!