There is no better way to bring awareness to what you are putting in your mouth than keeping a food journal. Most people couldn’t tell you what they ate yesterday. Even if they can remember a few of their meals they are likely forgetting about the handful of M&M’s that they grabbed from their coworker’s desk or the cream they put in their coffees or the cheese and crackers they snacked on as they prepared their dinners. By forcing yourself to track every last thing you put in your mouth you may be surprised by what you find.
There are many online journals that are available with exciting new features. Several popular online journals include: myfitnesspal.com, loseit.com, sparkpeople.com , and fitday.com. You can sign up for a free account and try them out. You may also download their apps on your phone to make tracking easier throughout the day. If you find it easier you can track what you are eating using a paper journal. Try to track any food or beverages you consume, the amount, the time, the place, and any other observations. I encouraged my clients to also track their hunger on a scale of 1 (no hunger) to 10 (starving) before each meal. They can then see what meals and snacks keep them full the longest. The more information you put into your journal the more you will get out of it.
A food journal can also highlight eating behaviors that are either helping or hindering your weight loss. Do you skip meals or go too long without eating? Are your ready for a feeding frenzy every afternoon at 3pm? The more aware you are of your eating patterns the better prepared you will be to make good food choices.