At Foothills Weight Loss Specialists in Knoxville, one of our main priorities is to provide you with the support and tools you need to succeed in your weight loss goals after surgery. One beneficial way to stay on track in your journey to a healthier lifestyle is to keep a food journal.
Whether you choose to keep a written journal or use an app to help you track what you consume, a food journal provides accountability. It can help you break down your daily calories and understand where they are coming from and their nutritional value. A Food journal can also identify areas in which you lack protein and important nutrients or pinpoint if you are ingesting a surplus of carbohydrates, sugars and fats. By being as specific and regimented as possible, you’ll become more aware of your eating tendencies, including emotional eating and binging, so you can modify behaviors and practice portion control.
Tips for Keeping a Successful Food Journal
- When food journaling, one of the most important things you can do is record what you eat and its nutritional content immediately after you finish a meal or snack (and honestly). If you wait, you will most likely forget, or guess what you consumed for each meal, as well as the calories, proteins, carbohydrates, sugars, etc. Doing your best to not let anything go unrecorded will only benefit you in the long term.
- Don’t forget to record the time of day that you eat each meal or snack, and the time of day that you feel cravings coming on. Understanding cravings patterns will help you identify meals that may have been lacking in adequate protein or other important nutrients.
- If you are using an app, save your favorite meals or snacks, as well as food you eat frequently. Apps like MyFitnessPal allow you to keep a library to easily pull from, whether it is meals you eat at home, or specific grocery or restaurant items.
- Record your location- whether this was at home, at work, at a social event, or at a restaurant. This will help you determine how your location plays a role in what you eat and how much you eat.
- Noting your mood before and after eating is also helpful, whether you’re keeping a written journal or using an app. Eating can often be emotionally driven, and recording your mood will help you to better understand your eating behaviors and the effect specific foods have on your emotional state.
- Discuss your food journal with your doctor, nutrition counselor, or dietitian, openly and honestly. They will help explain the nutritional content of what you eat, when you eat it, and how it affects your progress and overall health. After surgery, they will also educate you on the changes to your gastrointestinal tract, explain how your eating habits must be modified for a successful recovery, and provide post-surgery dietary guidelines.
If you’re planning on keeping a food journal through an app, check out Foothills Weight Loss Specialists’ list of recommendations here. These apps simplify the food journaling process by calculating calorie intake for you and are customizable to fit your health goals.
Learn more about why keeping a food journal is important and hear from our team here.