Writing down what you eat along with lifestyle strategies and how you feel is super useful to help you take a critical look at your current habits and make healthy changes that are specific to you. This is where a food tracker can be helpful.
The idea is that awareness gives you the information you need to make changes that get results. And one of the most powerful tools to gain this awareness is a food tracker or food and mood journal.
Using a Food Tracker For Weight Loss
A recent study following 1,800 men and women over a six-month period showed that those who kept up to date with their food tracker lost 50% more weight than those who did not. Just from writing down what they were eating.
So why is keeping a food tracker and mood journal one of the most powerful things you can do to change up your eating to make sure you’re thriving?
Haven’t tried it before? Click HERE to download our FREE food tracker and register for our meal planning workshop (find out why meal planning is life changing HERE).
I start all my one on one clients out with keeping a food tracker and so I wanted to share with you why keeping a food tracker works!
Why Keeping A Food Tracker Works!
1. A Food Tracker Helps You Identify Habits
A good food tracker does more than track food and portion sizes. If you record the time of day that you eat and other activities that surround your eating habits, your food tracker should help you identify consistent patterns in your eating.
Once you are aware of these habits you can set about trying to identify the trigger that initiates the habit, and the reward that reinforces it. This knowledge is incredibly valuable for both creating new habits and reprogramming those that are holding you back. With an emphasis on habits instead of numbers, keeping a food tracker continues to have value even after you stop using it.
2. You Figure Out Why
You also start to really figure out why you eat when you’re not hungry or why you make certain food choices at different times of the day. So writing down how you feel as well as what you are eating can help you figure out what you might be really hungry for. Maybe you are triggered by boredom, or stress, or is it that you always feel like eating when you watch TV.
This kind of insight is invaluable, because triggers and patterns are often unconscious, and you can’t change something you don’t even realise you’re doing. Keeping a food tracker changes that, because it allows you to identify the “whys” of your choices, systematically work on forming new habits, and find non-food ways to cope with emotions.
You also start to realise that maybe your dining companions affect your habits or actually see how much you are eating. Research has found that in general people overestimate how much exercise they are doing and underestimate how much they are eating.
In a really interesting study, Cornell University researchers used a hidden camera to spy on patrons at an Italian restaurant. Just five minutes after the meal was over, they asked diners how much bread they had consumed. Most people ate about 30% more than they thought, and 12% of people who were seen eating bread on camera denied having any at all.
The results aren’t really that shocking though because often we eat distracted, watching TV or on our phones and when we are not eating mindfully it’s really easy to miss the full signal from our body.
3. Learn What Works For You!
A food tracker can also help you figure out how certain foods make you feel you so you can really figure out your unique diet to thrive. It helps you to be aware of how you feel in the afternoon after a salad with some avocado & chicken compared to maybe a frozen meal or a burger from the shop.
Simply knowing that you’ll be recording your actions is also enough to entice most people to make better choices.
So HERE is an example tracker you can download and use but you can use a notebook or an app or whatever is easiest for you. But the key is to write down everything, no calories required but try write down rough portions and also add in lifestyle actions such as exercise, yoga & meditation and how you feel.
You can also give your energy a score out of 10 and write down how you digestion and mood was throughout the day especially after meals to gain even further insight on how to really make sure you are eating foods that make you perform at your best.
So How Do I Get Started?
Getting started is super easy. Here are my top tips:
1. Commit to keeping the food tracker for at least 1 week but preferably 30 days. Choose your time period, get prepared and stay consistent. Give it the chance to help change your habits.
2. Use this tracker, a cute notebook you can keep with you or an online tracker. It doesn’t matter which one but decide how you are going to track your food and get organized.
3. Write down everything you eat as well as when you exercise, if you did yoga and/or meditation that day and how you feel. You can write down how you feel after each meal or just give a summary at the end of the day but think about how was your digestion? Did you go to the bathroom? Energy levels? Mood? Were you happy, anxious, tired, grumpy? Any cravings and if so what for? Were you hungry? The more information the better.
4. After 7 days review your food tracker and have a think about how the foods you were eating made you feel? Want to chat through your results? Comment below and let me know and I can set up a call to go through them with you or Click HERE to register for our upcoming workshop and ask your questions live on the call.
5. Adjust what you eat in the coming week based on the results of your tracking. Did you feel better this week? Any different? Be a detective to figure out a sustainable way of eating that works for you!
Who already uses a food tracker and loves it?
Let me know in the comments below! Also if you want to give food tracking or meal planning a try Click HERE to register for join us for the FREE Meal Planning Workshop and to download your free meal planning workbook and weekly food tracker.
To your health,
P.S. Don’t forget to click HERE to download the free meal planning workbook and food tracker so you can get started and set up for success!