For some, keeping a food journal to lose weight is a tried-and-true way to keep track of a healthy diet plan. But, for others, our journals are full of nothing more than wide-eyed and ambitious—yet incomplete—plans to keep track of what goes in our body.
The late-night-snack-eaters, the impromptu-drive-thru-abiders, and those who suffer from frequent “I’m-too-tired-can-I-please-just-skip-a-day” mentalities are well-versed in what it means to neglect your food journaling. But it’s nothing to be ashamed of. We become all too familiar with the subsequent blank pages that follow our first few entries; motivation fades, and, honestly, there’s no way around it: following through with our well-intentioned plans can be a tough hurdle to overcome.
This article goes out to all those who have been dubbed, “all talk and no action;” the non-follow-through-ers; those who don’t necessarily fall under the umbrella of “unreliable” but, honestly, just get bored easily. Want to set that food journal habit and actually stick to it? Maybe some of these down-to-earth food journal tips for procrastinators can help.
Food journal tips for starting a food journal and keeping a food journal.
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Keeping a food journal to lose weight is known as a good way to keep track of the healthy diet foods you consume, as well as help you stick to whatever healthy diet plan you’ve set for yourself. By logging everything you drink or eat, you learn more about healthy diet foods and become more aware of what you’re consuming to fuel your day-to-day life. Starting a food journal helps us pay attention to our decisions and typical eating habits, and tracking what we eat helps us cultivate accountability to ourselves.
Food journal app and food journal to lose weight, food journaling for healthy diet is a great idea!
Sounds great, right? There’s one hang-up though: keeping a food journal or diary only works if you stick with it. The process of keeping a food journal can be tedious and time-consuming, and, unfortunately, there is a level of effort required. But it doesn’t have to be a chore!
Food Journal Tips for a Healthy Diet #1: Start Small
Research shows that regularly monitoring progress can help motivate change for the better. We all like to celebrate wins from time to time, so let’s start off with some proverbial “low hanging fruit.”
When it comes to keeping a daily food journal, there are two ways start small:
- Record every piece of food you’ve eaten throughout the day, without getting into the nitty-gritty Or,
- Jot down only one meal per day but go in depth with the calories, nutrients, and portions.
The reason to start small? As human beings, we’re naturally wired to enjoy celebrating in our wins. We all like the feeling we get when we cross something off our list, even if it’s something simple. If you set short-term, small goals that are easily attainable, then taking that moment to revel in the joy of your accomplishment will eventually help you stay motivated.
Instead of—pun intended—biting off more than you can chew, enjoy a little win every day. At the end of one week spent tracking your small goals, look back at your food journal to see how you’re doing. Then, give yourself a little self-pat on the back! You earned it.
Food Journal Tips for a Healthy Diet #2: Productive Laziness is a Thing
Instead of finding all sorts of ways to put off keeping track of your healthy diet food snacking, why try to be something you’re not? You’re a procrastinator, so put your shortcut-finding habits to good use!
Get creative to find shorthand sneaks, timesaving tricks, or other cheats that work for you. No one said that keeping food journals had to be a one-size-fits-all. Use shortcuts or invent new ways to finish your food journal tasks. Found that recipe in a magazine? Cool, staple it to the page. Don’t want to input your recipe line by line? There are food journal apps that can import bulk ingredients from recipes and save them for later. There are lots of resources out there designed for procrastinators or those who find food journaling to be a chore, find one that suits you best!
You should never underestimate the creative abilities of a procrastinator. Sometimes the drive to be lazy can bring out the productive side in us.
Food Journal Tips for a Healthy Diet #3: There’s an App for That
Can’t ever find your pen? Hate dealing with writers’ cramps and ink smudges? Well then, do we have some news for you: some food journal apps let you snap a picture and log your meals visually!
Apps that log food through photos are helpful because, just like there are some people who love spring and some who love fall, not everything is a one-size-fits-all affair. Line-items of granular data just doesn’t cut it for some of us. Logging food intake through photos can help you process information in a visual way and learn from it!
If you use a photo food diary app, you can digitally log portions of each food group you’ve consumed per sitting, and you don’t necessarily have to put in the legwork to research calories, nutrients, etc. While the purpose of visual food journal apps is to simplify the user experience, if the mood strikes, most food diary apps do accommodate options to manually input the grams of fat, proteins, and carbs you consume. However, for the procrastinators who love prefilled data, photo food diary apps can also estimate these numbers based on a few user-provided details.
Food Journal Tips for a Healthy Diet #4: “Good Enough" is Exactly What it Sounds Like
Who wants to err on the side of perfectionism when procrastination is an option? Whenever you aim too high, you set unrealistic, inflexible expectations for yourself and this could lead to being overwhelmed. It doesn’t have to be this way!
One of the easiest ways to prevent procrastination is to kick “perfect” to the curb and optimistically aim for "good enough.” Coming in at 75% - 80% of total completion and punctuality during your weeks of keeping a food journal is enough to give that boost of feel-good juice we discussed earlier. You worked hard for that passing grade, give yourself a break.
Eventually, staying steady at average capacity will help you get in the swing of things, and the key to keeping a healthy diet food journal is forming a habit. Unfortunately, if you aim too high at the get-go and become disappointed any time you fall short, it could lead to motivation problems. (Little wins, remember?)
Food Journal Tips for a Healthy Diet #5: Make it Fun!
Who wants to read back through a boring food journal? Add a little pizzazz to your day-to-day and put your personality onto the pages! Whether you use colorful pens, add some doodles, or even paste in some scrapbooking flair, making your journal uniquely “you” will help you personalize and enjoy the process. Whatever makes it fun for you, go for it!
Although keeping a food journal can be time-consuming and tedious at times, that doesn’t mean it has to be a pain! With a little personality, practice, and patience, your time spent on maintaining a healthy diet plan can pay off. Don’t get discouraged and remember to make the process uniquely your own, and soon you’ll be documenting the results of your health journey!
What are your tried-and-true food journal and basic health tips? Share them with the world and leave us a comment!
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“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.”
Proverbs 3:27 (NIV)
Want to start a healthy diet plans and a healthy diet food journal? Here are some food journal tips for starting a food journal, keeping a food journal, or get a food journal app. Food journal to lose weight or food journaling for healthy diet!