- Dr. Nancy
How Keeping a Food Journal Could Benefit Your Health
Food journaling is such a simple tool to use in your health journey. While it certainly serves as a place to keep track of what you eat daily, you'll benefit even further by taking it to the next level and including more details.
In addition to the basics of what you're eating and drinking, it's ideal if you use your food journal to write how you're feeling physically, emotionally, and mentally as well. Where you're eating and who you're eating with also helps, but a big key factor is how you feel after you eat.
It might seem like a bit of extra work, but it only takes a few minutes each day, and the insights it gives you is certainly worth the time commitment. Here are some benefits you'll get if you keep up with a daily food journal.
You'll identify important patterns.
By logging what you eat in great detail in your food journal, you may solve the mystery as to why you're bloating after certain meals. Don't rely on your brain to remember all the little things you've eaten throughout the day, as you may miss something. Go over it each week, and you may soon spot a pattern that after eating or drinking a particular item, it leads to bloating and discomfort.
You'll see how it affects your mentality.
The foods we eat can be a direct impact on our mental well-being. Where we eat and who we eat with can also cause different feelings. Scarfing down your lunch while ferociously answering emails in your office will feel a lot different than eating your lunch outside at a picnic table. We often see eating as a task we need to check off of our to-do list instead of approaching it as a way to truly take care of ourselves.
You'll see at a glance what makes you feel great.
Ever eat something and feel completely energized in every cell of your body? If you notice that you feel this way every time you eat a grapefruit for breakfast, for example, you'll want to make a point of eating grapefruit more often. Food journals can help keep track of this and laser in on what foods you can focus on eating more often.
You can share it with your doctor.
Going back to the first point, it can be hard to determine whether specific foods cause gastrointestinal woes. While celiac is not very common, gluten sensitivity is far more prevalent. Let's say you keep breaking out in a rash and are experiencing extreme bloating and discomfort. You cut out gluten and notice a big difference. Now, you have this information to share with your doctor, and you're one step in the right direction of getting tested and seeing what is truly causing your discomforts.
Using a food journal really helps you take notice of your eating and lifestyle habits. It paints an accurate picture and allows you to realize some habits you may have that you aren't even aware of yet. There are so many benefits to using a food journal, and I highly suggest giving it a try.