Diet’s impact, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally, is typically underestimated. Obviously, dieting is important for weight loss, however, there are many benefits to keeping track of what we eat daily. Incorporating a food log can positively impact you in these five ways.
Keeping a food log can help you lose weight. If slimming down is your goal, keeping a log will show you which dietary habits are keeping the weight on. By logging every meal you eat, you will force yourself to be accountable and eliminate the foods that are plateauing your weight loss goals.
Understand Your Cravings
Another reason to keep a food log is to understand why you eat certain foods. For example, if you’re craving a midnight snack, having to log that snack will determine if you’re truly hungry or if you are possibly emotionally eating. Oftentimes, when we eat, it isn’t for nutritional value; we may be walking in the mall and smell a pretzel stand. We may not be hungry, but the smell can be a trigger. Reflecting on these meals in your log allows you to understand why you eat certain foods, causing you to eliminate them. Also, once you reflect on the reasons you eat unhealthy foods, it makes it easier to find coping mechanisms for those subconscious issues.
Checking for Intolerances
Logging is not only good for eliminating unhealthy foods. Logging can help you determine which foods cause certain intolerances. For example, you may go to a buffet and eat a variety of foods and realize you are experiencing inflammation. When you log the foods you’ve eaten, you can go on an elimination diet to figure out which foods are the cause. Logging also helps with re-incorporating certain foods into your diet.
While keeping track of your diet, you can also bring awareness to something that is oftentimes overlooked: portion control. Sometimes, the foods in your diet can be okay, it’s just that you’re overindulging. Doing proper research on how much of a certain food you should consume each serving will help you maintain your normal diet and still lose weight.
Better Nutritional Habits
The final important reason to log meals is to practice better nutritional habits. Everyone believes they’re eating healthy foods until they have to reflect on what they’ve consumed. For example, logging can show you that while you are consuming enough proteins and fiber-rich foods, you are lacking foods containing your daily dose of necessary vitamins. Keeping a food log will allow you to see which food groups you are fulfilling along with which food groups need to be incorporated more.
Diet is very important in maintaining your health. It isn’t always easy to eat a nutritious meal, especially while traveling. Keeping a food log is an excellent way to discipline yourself to make healthier decisions and accomplish dietary goals. Your log can even assist in creating a rotating meal plan that hits every food group. Over time, keeping track of your diet will make eating healthy and losing weight second nature. Keeping a log will also teach you a lot about balancing your emotions and eliminate poor dieting habits caused by your everyday triggers. Logging your diet can also become enjoyable. With proper logging, you can even have a cheat day, as long as it’s written down.