According to one study, people who keep food journals lost twice as much as people who didn’t. The more food records people kept, the more weight they lost. That’s why journaling is an important tool to help you be successful in their weight loss journey. At Grand View Health Medical Weight Loss, we ask patients to download the GVH Health Tracker app that allows them to create a food journal on their smartphone.
Like with any new task, starting to journal is the hardest part. Once you develop the habit, it takes about as much time as brushing your teeth. Here are five reasons to use journaling to help you reach your weight-loss goals:
- Increase Mindfulness
The simple act of acknowledging the foods we eat brings a mindfulness and accountability to our food choices. It helps us to pay attention to serving sizes and eat proper portions.
- Gain Knowledge
Pursuing and maintaining a healthy weight can require lots of effort. In that pursuit, knowledge provides you with the power to stay on track. Learning about the foods you eat puts you in the best position to make healthy choices. Often times, we don’t know exactly what is in the foods we are eating, so we are guessing which choice is healthier. When you are logging and get personal feedback regarding the foods you eat, it will help you make better choices in the future.
- Embrace Technology
Using an app to log your nutrition has some added benefits. Most apps will provide information about calories, carbs, fat and protein in real time. This information can help you to make a healthy decision between multiple options with just a few clicks.
- Learn Lessons
When you review your nutrition logs, you should feel one of two ways:
- Wow! I totally rocked that and I’m happy with the choices I am making, or;
- Hmmm… that didn’t go like I planned, what can I do differently next time?
Either way, you will learn which choices you want to turn into a habit and which ones you’d prefer to change. But don’t judge yourself. The purpose of food journaling is to plan how to improve your choices, not to beat yourself up.
- See Your Progress
Use what you learn. Every day is a new opportunity to learn more about the foods you prefer. Once gained, you can use this knowledge to help you reach your goals. This is much more powerful than reading through a list of “healthy foods for weight loss” you may find online. As you gain knowledge, you can navigate tricky circumstances and help keep yourself on track.
Nutrition logging is an important tool for healthy weight loss. It takes some effort to establish the habit, but once you own it, it’s extremely valuable. At our clinic, we ask patients to download the GVH Health Tracker app that allows them to log their nutrition, exercise, water, vitamins and weight. It also allows for secure messaging with our providers in real time. This has helped our patients be extremely successful in reaching their weight loss goals while developing habits to stay at a healthy weight for the rest of their lives.
If you’d like help reaching your weight loss goals, we’d love to help you get started.
About the author: Megan Zakarewicz, DO, is a family medicine physician with certification in obesity medicine. She leads the Grand View Health Medical Weight Loss program. She is accepting new patients for in-person or telemedicine appointments. For more information, call the Grand View Health hotline at 215-453-4100 to schedule an appointment.