Food journaling is a way to review and monitor our caloric intake, as well as examine our relationship with food. We become more mindful of what we are eating. For example, we may notice what triggers our desire for food- often we eat when we are bored, not when we are actually hungry. Perhaps we are waiting too long between meals, spiking a craving for sweets if our blood sugar drops low. What choices are we making? Are we misreading our body signals?
By keeping a journal, it makes us more mindful of the food (and portions) we choose, as well as provides a record for us on which to reflect and learn. It’s a trackable outlet for us to become aware of how much food, what kind of food, we are ingesting, and why.
The great thing about a journal is that it’s extremely personal. You do not have to share it with anyone, though it is encouraged to review it with a coach. It doesn’t mean every forkful of every dinner must be super “clean”.  In fact, it’s quite healthy to indulge every once in a while. The journal is for you to embark on a journey towards more mindful, and healthful eating. It’s a lifelong change, not an overnight fix.
So many internal and external factors contribute to the nutritional choices we make, and this program is just about monitoring caloric intake vs caloric expenditure, to see changes in body composition and weight loss, and increase motivation! While we as coaches can provide some basic nutritional guidance on protein intake, carb intake, and fat intake (as well as the ratio and timing), the goal of the food journaling program is really to help make lifelong changes through a more mindful eating behavior.
On a personal note, I regularly go back to food journaling when I have a specific goal or target to meet. You do not have to keep a journal forever, but it’s a great tool in your kit to use whenever you feel you are off track. A great book, available on kindle, is In Defense of Food; an Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pallon. This book changed the way I looked at food in the supermarket, and impacted my buying choices. I am the annoying person who stands and reads the full nutritional label, and I now understand what it all means!!
I will leave you with this mantra repeated in Michael Pallon’s book: “Eat enough. Not too much. Mostly Plants.”

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