Food Journals: The good, the bad & the ugly

Many people fail to accomplish their goals because they lose sight of what they want to achieve. Tracking helps you to focus on the important things you need to do to move toward your goals. There are positives and negatives to food journaling.  Acknowledging these in the beginning can help avoid unmet expectations.

The Positives:

  • Awareness: Creates a mindful eating situation which can be a reality check for some.  Writing down or taking photos of meals helps the perception of quantity match reality.
  • Accountability: Makes you accountable for your lifestyle choices and what needs the most attention
  • Assessment: Ability to track and learn basic information: portion sizes, food choices, eating times, emotional state, cravings, hunger/fullness levels, carbohydrate counting, blood glucose levels, determining foods that trigger other symptoms.
  • Insight: Recognize your progress by looking back at your previous journal entries. (e.g. vegetable intake increased by 1 cup in 1 month, no longer skipping breakfast).  Also watch for trends (e.g. larger meals in the evening). Recognize when you are eating out of non-physical hunger so you can strategize about coping skills.  One study showed that those who kept a food journal lost twice as much weight over 6 months. 

The Negatives:

  • Tedious work
  • Time consuming
  • Unsure of ingredients in foods to accurately track intake
  • No nutritional labels on homemade recipes
  • Idea of judgement
  • No one to view your journal and make suggestions (Your Orbera Coach can help you with this!)
  • Use it as a crutch, and not a learning tool, to learn what foods, food combinations and portion sizes fit into your calorie and macronutrient ratio goal, so when you stop using it you quickly get off track with your health goal.
  • Some people can get obsessive and may be too fearful to manage on their own without it.

Keep in mind the main goal of food journaling is to make you aware of what, when and how much you are eating and be able to carry that through to daily living.

Orbera patients don’t have to lose weight alone. When you are a part of the Orbera Weight Loss Program, you will have full access to Orbera Coach. That means our experts will be there with you to review your food intake and weekly weight loss goals.

Are you ready to kick start your weight loss goals with a great team? The first step is to schedule your consultation!

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