When January 1st rolls around it's easy to dive into making healthy choices. You probably stayed up too late the night before, you might have overdone it a little on the celebratory champagne, and you may have been stuffing your face with dessert daily for weeks. When you feel like garbage the obvious answer is to dust off that resolution to eat better. Fast forward to the end of the month when you've eaten better, are feeling better, and you start thinking: that cookie won't kill me, I've been eating healthy all month! Then you run out of coffee and when you run down to CVS to get some because you just need enough to last until groceries are delivered in a few days, a can of Chef Boyardee ravioli hitches a ride in your cart and you eat the whole thing the minute you get home. Because RAVIOLI!
Duh, above was my own personal confession from the other day. :) Personally, I don't think that most people need to (or should be) counting calories because it's sort of irrelevant** if you are eating in a healthy way. HOWEVER, I do think that once in a while it's a good idea to pay a little more attention to what you're doing.
Enter the food journal.
Keeping a food journal for a week or two can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it. Tracking what you eat and when you eat it can give you insights into your general health, mood, sleep patterns, etc. In addition to what you're eating, you can track your sleep, how much water you're drinking, if you exercise and when you go to the bathroom and what happens in there. Ladies, for good measure you can track your cycle. All of this information helps you to see patterns and to identify issues that might need to be addressed.
I think it'd be ridiculous to do this all the time. If you are having a health issue or are an athlete training for an event, these are times when you should be keeping a detailed record. But in general, I like to do it a few times a year for a week or two just to check in with myself.
In case you need a little inspiration, I'm going to post my food journal on this blog for the next week (starting tomorrow). I already sort of do it for Tasty Tuesdays but I thought it'd be nice to show what a complete week looks like. My schedule, and therefore my eating habits, is different every day.
Have you ever kept a food journal?
Do you think that it was worth it?
**I am not a doctor or in any way professionally qualified to give health advice. I am simply an expert on my own body and heath and think that everyone else should try to be that for themselves, as well.