Let’s talk about journaling. I’ll start by saying that I am a huge fan of it. We ask you to journal your food… but there is so much more you can do to help you achieve your goals. Journaling helps us see what is going on in our life where we otherwise may not notice and can help us make changes in our routines for the better. During this blog, I want to address ways to help you have a better understanding of your eating patterns and the emotions that are connected to them.
I like to ask my clients to food journal the following information for me for 1-2 weeks (depending on their goals):
- What you had to eat
- The amount you had to eat
- Number of calories and macros
These are the points you may not be journaling currently:
- Did you enjoy the food?
- Where were you when you consumed the food
- What emotions were you were experiencing before eating
- What emotions were you were experiencing after eating
By logging not only what you are eating but also the emotions connected to why you’re eating helps identify emotional eating habits. Were you bored? Stressed at work? Stressed at home? Just had a fight with someone? By incorporating this simple step, you’ll start to see patterns in your eating habits that you otherwise may not correlate to overeating.
While I believe that My Fitness Pal and other food journaling apps are great, there is something to be said for writing on paper. We make a better connection when we physically write something down as opposed to entering it into a computerized or application system.
Journaling can be very beneficial and cathartic! I encourage you to try it for minimally one week. You never know, you may end up keeping the habit permanently!