If you're trying to reach a weight that's healthy for you, using a journal or an app to track what you eat can help you discover your eating patterns. Then you can look at those patterns and see what might get in the way of reaching your goals.
Here is one method for tracking.
- Keep a healthy eating journal for 1 week.
In your journal, you can include anything you think might help. Here are some examples of things to track:
- Time and place
- The food you ate
- Your feelings
- Who was with you
- How hungry you were. You might use a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 means you are very hungry and weak, and 10 means you are so full that you feel sick.
Here is an example of how your eating journal might look.
- The situation: Thursday at 3 p.m., alone at work
- What I ate: 3 slices of cold pizza
- Hunger scale: Started as a 1, ended as a 9
- What happened: I skipped lunch because of a meeting. I was angry. At 3 p.m., I ate a slice of pizza, and then I went back and ate the last two pieces left in the box.
- Review your journal entries to find patterns of eating.
Go back through your journal and see what you learn about yourself. You might find that:
- You almost always eat dinner in front of the TV.
- You often eat an evening snack, even when you're not hungry.
- You sometimes snack when you "feel" like you want to eat (because of boredom, stress, or some other emotion), but you're not truly hungry.
These patterns can be your guide to help you find ways to make small changes in your eating habits and achieve your weight goals.
You can also use your journal to keep track of your progress, remind you of your successes, and avoid setbacks.