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I get it. Adopting the habit of using a food diary by writing in a paper journal seems old-school for many of my clients. That’s why I encourage everyone in the Solution Starter Program by reminding them that they have options.
There are lots of fun pages in the Food and Activity Journal, and perhaps using them will be a new kind of habit that leads to a new level of wellness success? Keeping track of what we eat is an important part of managing our health. Unconscious eating is the cause of weight gain for many Americans today. Have you ever found yourself holding an empty package of your favorite snack without noticing how quickly you consumed this treat?
Whether you use the Food Photo Diary method, write in your Food & Activity Journal, or a combination of these methods–your increasing awareness about what you eat will help you.
This food diary with photos is a fun way to become aware of which foods work for your precious body and goals! I’ve taken photos of my food for a long time, and I’ve uploaded some examples of my photos for you today.
Here’s how it has worked for me: As I get ready to take my photo, I look at my plate and wonder, “What is missing in this healthy meal?” After I snap my photo, I ask myself, “Does this look like what my body needs right now?” Maybe it would be helpful for you to try taking photos of your food for a few weeks?
Food diaries with photos can be a helpful tool as you seek wellness. Not everyone is interested in writing down every bite, yet bringing awareness to your food is an important tool for successful weight management. If you don’t want to take photos of what you eat, maybe you are the kind of person who would write down what you eat for a few weeks? Either way you keep track, you can increase your success as a healthy eater by bringing awareness to your food choices.
When people are getting real about their past eating habits (because they want to create healthier eating habits), it can truly help to either take photos or write down what they eat without JUDGMENT. That’s right. The first stage of food awareness is the willingness to stop, notice, and create a record. My coaching clients often tell me that their portion sizes automatically go down when they look at their food photos during their first week in my program. How easy is that?!
The second stage of food awareness is to think about how you feel when you eat certain meals. My healthiest day of food may not satisfy you at all. We are all unique and our metabolisms need our self-care and compassionate awareness. The best way to decide which of the meals in your food diary or Food & Activity Journal are meals you should often repeat, is by making note of how you felt after each one. Did it give you sustained energy? Were the flavors pleasing? Did you create good balance between Protein, Quality Carbs, and Healthy Fats? In this second stage, you are thinking through how you feel after you eat and how you have applied the guidelines of healthy eating. You can do this!
The third stage of food awareness is to make a list of the foods that may not serve you any longer. When we eat unconsciously, or without mindful planning, the same kinds of comfort foods that worked for us in our younger years seem to find a way to our meals and snacks. Does this ever happen to you? Do you remember how I suggested you could photograph or write down what you are eating without judgement in the first stage? Now that you are in the third stage, it’s okay to begin the gentle process of requiring more of yourself.
I’ve experienced this myself. If you look at my food photos, there are very few white-flour items in my food life. This isn’t happening because I don’t love them! The day came for me when I realized that the meals that include things like white bread, rolls, or white pastas are the meals that do not give me sustained energy. I’m curious to find out what your experience will be!
The team at Holland Health Coaching in Colorado has the perfect one-month food diary! This is not a blank book that you fill in…it is a holistic health tool with worksheets, nutrition information, and kind encouragement from Coach Georgianne. If you are ready to buy your own Food & Activity Journal, head on over to the Holland Health Coaching shop today!