The Food Journal

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
Charles M. Schulz

If you are interested in losing weight, there is a simple equation which can guide you to success:

Calories In < Calories Out = Weight Loss
(Your caloric intake must be less than your caloric outtake or expenditure
if you want to lose weight.)

Different variables (such as exercise) can affect the outcome, but for now, I will focus only on calories. It might seem like a lot of work to be checking the calories of everything you eat, but if you do it for about a week or two, you will get a general idea of what foods are high in calories and can adjust your diet accordingly. There is no need to eliminate all the foods you love, however you might want to adjust the amount of those foods you eat, if you would like to see results.Junk-food-vs-Healthy-food.jpgOne of the most important tools which helped me realize which of the foods I ate were sabotaging my diet, was a Food Journal or Diary.  In my journal I would write everything I ate for the day, the times I ate, and an estimate of the calories consumed at each meal. I discovered that writing in the journal had several benefits:

  1. When you see what you actually consume written on the page, you realize the quantity may be more than you really need to eat;
  2. You may see that you eat more frequently than you need to eat;
  3. You may see that you do not eat frequently enough, and therefore eat more than you need to, the next time you eat;
  4. By knowing that if you eat something you have to write it down, this can actually serve as a deterrent to eating it, especially if it is not a healthy choice;
  5. When you review your journal, it can help you structure future meals so they are more balanced and probably lower in overall calories.

AHA Food Journal

The more I entered what I ate in my Food Journal, the more I became aware of the foods I should eat less (or more) of to achieve my goal. I no longer use the Journal but today I am much more aware of what I am eating and can plan better choices.

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