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Top 5 Keys to Success with Food Journaling
Posted By The FIRM Master Instructor Team On May 22, 2009 @ 3:00 am In Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Weight Loss | 3 Comments
By The FIRM nutrition consultant Sara Ryba
Whether you’re trying to lose weight  or eat more fruits and vegetables, a food journal can be one of the most effective weight loss  tools anywhere. Yet while it sounds like a simple task to write down what you eat, these five tips on how to start a food journal, what to write in it, and what to do with what you learn from it can greatly increase your likelihood of success with weight loss and healthier eating.
Before you start the food journal, decide on the best format for you. Some people prefer to make a food entry form on the computer, while others like to make handwritten notes in a pretty journal. You can even use a little note pad, as long as you have a central location to keep your food journal entries.
For many people, it is easier to enter one full day at a time; try writing in your food journal after dinner or first thing in the morning. If you find it hard to remember everything you eat for a full day, make your entries after each meal. The important thing is not to let more than one day go by without recording your entries.
The most important key to success with food journaling is to list all foods you consume each day. Yes, that includes munching in front of the fridge, nibbling while cooking, or finishing bites left on your child’s plate. Even beverages should be included.
For each item you eat, include this info:
For the first week, make your goal to simply write down all of the food that you consume. You need not make any great efforts to “eat better,” or adjust your eating habits just yet. The first and most important step in the process is to collect information on your current eating habits. You may find that after three days you are already learning a lot about your strengths and weaknesses and subconscious eating patterns.
Whenever you can, try to make note of these details as well for each meal or snack:
Review your first seven days and make some conclusions about your eating patterns. Use this insight to create your goals. Try to make them concrete and easy to evaluate. Here are a few ideas for small, manageable adjustments that may make sense for you:
It can make a big difference when you know that you are accountable to someone else! You and your partner can review your food journals together, in person or via email or a social networking site. Or get support with achieving your fitness , health  and weight loss goals in an online community like The FIRM Believers Club . Sharing the experience makes it more fun and motivating! And studies have shown that people who get support lose significantly more weight than people trying to go it alone.
Here’s to your success with food journaling and lasting, healthy changes in your lifestyle!
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URLs in this post:
 lose weight: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/CanYogaHelpYouLoseWeight.html
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 empty calories: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/10-Ways-to-Eat-Healthy-on-a-Budget.html
 Get more advice on how to eat to lose weight: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/How-to-Eat-to-Lose-Weight.html
 reduce the fat and calorie content of favorite meals: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Lighten-Up-6-Easy-Substitutions-to-Lighten-Your-Favorite-Meals.html
 how to eat to boost energy: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/EatingGuidetoBoostEnergyandMetabolism.html
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 fitness: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/id/CAT00001
 health: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/id/CAT00003
 The FIRM Believers Club: http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=ikoB54HG8Ag&offerid=133367.10000229&type=3&subid=0
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