Keeping a journal of what you eat and how you feel when eating can help accelerate weight loss or identify issues after weight loss surgery. Studies have shown that bariatric patients who keep a food journal have better weight loss results than those who don’t keep track of what they eat.
A Food Journal can help patients decrease mindless eating, choose a well-balanced diet, limit portion sizes and prevents overeating, re-establish goals, and identify disordered eating patterns, problem areas and opportunities for improvement.
Food Journals can be kept in a notebook, on a computer or by using an online program. Regardless of the method, your food journal should include:
- Times of meals and snacks
- Portion sizes and description of food consumed
- Hunger levels, before and after meals
- Feelings associated with or surrounding meals or snacks
It is recommended that you keep a food journal for 2 or more weeks and then review to establish goals. Patterns to look for include long periods of time without eating, skipping meals, lack of protein or vegetables, snacking when bored, eating until uncomfortably full, and emotional eating.