The Importance of Keeping A Food Journal

I could not believe that I had not think about this way earlier than I actually did. If I think about it, food journal makes a complete sense. How did I know that I wasn’t over eating if I did not even remember what I ate that day.

As eating has become an integral part in our life, it is so easy to just do it without thinking. When you sit down on a coffee shop, and there’s a complimentary biscuit (especially when it is Biscoff!!), you would not even consider that there is an option to not eating it. That’s 37kCal a piece. How many in that small packet again? Can’t remember…

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How about how many pints of lager did you have at Sandra’s leaving do? Three? Or four? that’s 180kCal per pint, so you really want to make sure whether you’re consuming 540kCal or 720kCal. Did you take the pork scratching from the bowl? Did you have the obligatory kebab on the way home? Did you have chips with it? Did you ask for extra mayo on it?

You don’t remember. And you normally won’t unless you are gifted with this extra precision memory, and the ability to retain such memory even after a couple of pints.

And this is why a food journal is very important to me.

Documenting what I eat makes calorie budgeting possible. Using accounting jargon as analogy is what makes the best sense for me.

Calories allowance = Salary

Calories consumption = Expenditure

Eat more than allowance = Get into debt

Eat less than allowance = Have some spare

Calorie deficit = Savings

Just like when you are doing your personal finance, you can track your money better with bank statement. Unfortunately with food, you will have to track it yourself. Fortunately nowadays there are a lot of apps and websites to make it easier for you to start your own food journal. Or food diary… whatever.

My favourite one until today is MyFitnessPal.

It is not perfect, especially if you are using the free version like me. Personally I would like something which looks cuter. Something with pastel coloured background, or rainbow and unicorn would be appreciated. But MyFitnessPal is all business, and all about functionality. Which makes the non-cuteness very well forgivable.

You can set your calories allowance per day (they call it calories goal), you can connect it to your fitbit if you have one (I don’t). You can use them to calculate how calorific your special Sunday roast is (I dare not think of mine). And the feature that I use a lot: barcode scanner which makes journal/diary entry way easier, and more accurate.

Now, before I finish this entry… Just in case someone wonders what the difference between a journal and a diary is… I’d like to quote one of my favourite TV shows.

Deeks: I’m sorry, just to clarify, what is the difference between a journal and a diary?
Kensi: Diaries are for seven-year-old girls.
Deeks: So, um, you would say that a journal, then, has more… adult content? (Kensi smiles) Good to know. Good. To. Know.» NCIS: Los Angeles 3.04 – “Deadline”
source: here
Good luck with your journal (or diary), and until then take care of your self
xx
Extra reading:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/why-keep-a-food-diary-2019013115855
https://familydoctor.org/nutrition-keeping-a-food-diary

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