Saturday, May 17, 2014

Health Tip Of The Week - Keeping A Food Journal

Most people are unaware of what they are eating, and how much they are eating.  Most people don't know how big a serving size should be or how many calories are in the foods they are consuming.  They try to make "healthier choices," but what does that actually mean?  Are you assuming it's a healthier choice or do you actually understand enough about nutrition to make a healthier choice?  These are all valid questions, that most people don't have the answer to, because they know little to nothing about nutrition or how it affects the body.  I was definitely one of those people at a point in my life.  How I made it to 25 years old without knowing the difference between a protein and a carb, is beyond me.

One of the best ways to start when beginning a healthier lifestyle is to keep a food journal.  In my early struggle towards health and nutrition, I did and it helped tremendously.  I kept a small notebook, one that would fit in my purse, and kept track of everything I was eating, including drinks, and I also kept a log of my workouts everyday in the same notebook.  I had a calorie king calorie counting book, that I used as a reference for nutritional values.  I started reading all my labels, for the foods that had them, started looking at serving sizes, and ingredients in my foods.  I also learned about carbs, proteins, fats, and sugars, and how my body reacted to them.  It does seem like a lot in the beginning.  It can get a little overwhelming, but so is feeling sick, ashamed, and unhealthy.

You can start a food journal with just a simple notebook, or you can look online to find ones that are already outlined and ready to print.  There are also many apps that you can download, that do the same thing.  Whatever you prefer.  You will quickly notice that you eat a lot of the same things over and over.  After a few weeks, you will know how many calories are in the foods you are eating, right off the top of your head.  You will also be able to recognize what a normal portion looks like.  Keeping a food journal will educate you on your food choices, keep you accountable, and help you to recognize your eating habits, and where you need to make adjustments.  It's all a learning process.  It takes time, but you will get there.  Just keep going!!

-XOXO Monique

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