The Basics of Keeping a Food Journal

Most of us are becoming more aware of the fact that what we eat has a huge impact on our overall physical and emotional well-being. Time and again, we hear and read about how eating foods that are poor in nutritious value may lead to serious health problems such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases etc.

The brain is one of the organs that’s one of the most overlooked when it comes to the side effects of nutrition. This is interesting because researchers say that around 40% of what we consume feeds our brains. The brain may occupy a small space in our bodies, but it is a very hungry organ. And eventually, what you eat now will have a big impact on how you feel and think in a couple of hours and for the next few days.

Even though it may sound like tedious work, this is where keeping a food journal may help you become what you eat on a daily basis. A good idea would be to analyze the journal on a weekly basis to see if what you consume has any impact on your mental and physical well-being. By keeping a food journal, you can make more conscious food choices for your body.

I use the classic pen and paper method for keeping track of what I eat. But this does not mean that you are only limited to pen and paper yourself. I’ve heard of many apps that help you track what you eat and the calories you consume. I think, just like with the most types of habits that stick, you need to make the journaling practice creative and engaging in order to make it a habit that really sticks with you for a long time:)

I use my good old Bright Day calendar to keep track of what I eat. Clearly I did not have a lot of to-do’s in November 🙂

So if you are ready, you can apply the following easy steps to get started on your food diary:

  1. Write down all the foods and drinks you consume throughout the day: Be honest with yourself 🙂 You need to record every item you eat and drink at breakfast, lunch, dinner. Remember to write down the snacks as well 🙂
  2. At the end of every day or every week, analyze how you feel: It’s better to write the feelings you have as soon as possible. Write down things such as the key emotions you’ve felt, what you’ve noticed about your energy and stress levels etc.
  3. Rate your mood and physical sensations: At the end of every day or every week, rate your mood and your physical strength from 0 to 10 where 10 represents feeling great.

Poor nutrition is bad for your body and this includes your brain as well. Unfortunately, what’s bad for your brain cannot be good for your mental and spiritual well-being. As you keep practicing your food diary, ask yourself what junk food or drinks you can remove from your diet? Which healthy food items can you introduce to your daily consumption?

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