The FOOD JOURNAL

The FOOD Journal!

Research indicates that we lie to ourselves. We overestimate how much we exercise and we underestimate how much we eat. You can stop that now if you keep track of everything you consume, even water. How has your nutrition improved? What new foods have you tried and loved? How have your energy levels improved? What new healthy eating habit do you want to try this week? A nutrition journal can be a crucial improvement to your life. You’ll be more aware of what you eat and how you think about eating. This can be one serious high-performance habit. If you put GOOD in – GREAT will come out. Heres how the food journal will help you learn how best to FUEL yourself.

1. A Practice of MINDFULNESS.
One of the best benefits of scrawling down your after-breakfast snack is the awareness it brings to your eating habits. It causes you to consider your food choices in a more permanent manner, rather than as a momentary tool to fulfill your desires. It forces you to be honest about how you choose to fuel yourself. Having to be mindful of food choices will make you think twice before you chow down on a sleeve of Oreos or sip a third margarita. Are you aware of all your food choices? Do you take time to eat mindfully? Do you choose foods that make your body FEEL good?

2. Helps to find Your “Perfect Fit”: the diet that suits you best.
Some diets only let you have a certain number of points or so much of a certain type of food. While these can be helpful guides in your fitness routine, no pre-written diet is truly ideal for any particular person.  There is no perfect diet out there that will work for every single individual. We are all different, and the food journal serves as a tool to FIGURE OUT what foods make YOUR body feel best. Instead of letting some diet guru or program dictate a pre-ordained eating schedule, a food journal  will help you find a way to eat that fits you best.

3. Discover missing nutrients
Sometimes it is not how much you eat but what types of foods you are eating. If your food journal shows a lack of green vegetables, you are probably missing out on several nutrients like Vitamin E, zinc, folic acid, B vitamins, magnesium, iron and others that your body needs to function properly. Lack of certain vitamins and minerals can cause many health problems, not to mention unhealthy looking hair and skin (NOT fun!). If your diet is making you feel tired, grumpy, or unfulfilled, there could be something nutritionally “off” thats causing you discomfort. Keeping a food journal will help teach you how much you need of each specific nutrient and help you ensure you’re getting enough protein, B-12, and other essential nutritional elements.

4. Stay Accountable!  No Cheeto Goes Uncounted.
The small bag of chips with lunch, a few chocolates from a friend’s stash, or the whiskey-soda after work ALL ADD UP! Rationally, you know all the little things factor in somewhere, but you cant really internalize it until you keep a food diary and see it for yourself. Writing down the here-and-there food items will keep you accountable for everything you put into your mouth and let you see where all your calories are coming from.

5. Notice Your Personal Patterns
Everyone’s metabolism and eating habits are as unique as their fingerprint. Maybe your energy plunges around 3pm, after your boost from lunch has worn off. Or, perhaps you tend to eat after you’ve received unexpected or stressful news. Using your food journal to get a handle on your own eating trends will put you more consciously in control of your diet.

6. Help Your Trainer Help You
If you’re working with a fitness professional to meet your goals, a food journal can be a lifesaver. Providing them with an insight into your true diet and eating patterns (and not just what you’d like to report!) will give them the ability to help even more. They can pinpoint ways to get back on track or provide tips to help you FEEL your best.

Fearless Fitness Challenge Of The Week: Put good stuff IN for GREAT stuff out. JOURNAL IT!

Our challenge for this week will be to keep a food journal. This week I challenge you to take note of EVERY thing that you eat and drink. The easiest way is to grab a pen and use a notebook. But you can also choose to use fancier online free diet journals like the DAILY PLATE or IPhone  applications. Choose what works best for you and whats most convenient.  Journal the following:

  1. What you eat
  2. Time you eat
  3. Portion size / serving size
  4. What you drink
  5. Exercise that day
  6. Hours of sleep

Id also like to challenge you to dig DEEPER and note how certain foods make you feel after you eat them. Do you feel energized or lethargic after a meal? Are you losing, gaining, or maintaining your weight? Do certain foods cause allergic reactions or mood swings? Do you feel exhausted all the time? Are you enjoying what you’re eating, and are you getting all the nutrients you need? Listen to your body my friends…it will tell you what works for you and what doesn’t. Your ultimate goal should be to FEEL GOOD and to have the ENERGY you need to ENJOY life. That’s what its ALL about right?

SEVEN DAYS of Food Journaling….. are YOU up for the challenge?! Looking forward to hearing how it goes – let me know if you have any questions!

Other things you should check out this week:

Thanks again for being an amazing fitness family! Good luck with the food journal challenge this week and I’ll see you in class soon for another ROCKSTAR workout!

Caroline

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