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One of the most common reasons women keep a food journal is for weight loss. While this typically involves counting calories or nutritional values, it certainly doesn’t have to! There are ways to use a food journal to help with weight loss that don’t involve calories at all…and keeping a food journal can help you keep tabs on other important aspects of your health, too.
In our Athlean-XX for Women Nutrition Plan, we actually discourage calorie counting. Instead, we ask you to eat small healthy meals 5 – 6 times per day. Not only will this help you metabolism speed up and burn fat more effectively, you’ll find that you desire to eat less at each meal because your body will naturally begin to moderate your appetite.
Whether you’re starting on the Athlean-XX for Women plan, have a new nutrition goal, or suspect a nutritional component to a health issue you’re experiencing, keeping a food journal can help you notice changes in your energy levels, emotional health and physical health.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways food journaling can give you helpful insight:
1) Accountability and Motivation
Have a new nutrition goal that you’d like to achieve? Maybe you’re striving to squeeze in 5 servings of veggies per day or protein with every meal. Maybe you want to make sure you’re drinking at least 64 oz of water per day. Keeping track of what you eat and drink can help you meet those goals. It can even be fun and motivating to tick off your portions of veggies or glasses of water as you go throughout the day. Keeping track of how you feel physically with the new changes in your diet can also help to reinforce the good habits you’re undertaking. Check in with yourself regularly throughout the day on energy levels, fullness or any other sensations you might be experiencing and write them down.
Suspect that something in your diet might be bugging your stomach, affecting your skin or causing allergic symptoms? A food journal can definitely help you pinpoint what it might be. Identify what your main symptoms are and keep track of them in your journal. Be sure to write down exactly what you eat, the exact times you eat as well as the exact times you are experiencing symptoms. After a week or two, look over your journal to see if any patterns begin to arise.
3) Busting Through Weight Loss Plateaus
Getting close to your weight loss or fitness goal, but experiencing a plateau? Keeping a food journal can put you in touch with what you may be eating that might be preventing you from achieving your goal. Writing down what you eat prevents mindless eating and can expose eating habits that you may not have been aware of.
4) Combating Low Energy Levels
Do you find yourself feeling sleepy or low energy during the day? Maybe there are some foods you’re eating that are having an undesired effect on your blood sugar levels. In addition to keeping track of your foods, keep track of times in the day when you feel sleepy. Begin to remove the foods you suspect might be causing the drowsiness (or eat them later in the day) to see if you notice a difference in your energy levels. Keep track of everything you drink, too! It could be excess caffeine or not enough water that are causing you to feel sleepy.
Keeping track of the foods you eat and your emotions right before you eat can help you identify emotional eating patterns. Each time you reach for a snack, try to notice hunger levels, boredom or sadness. Noting your feelings immediately afterward can be a big indicator, too – guilt or sadness after eating may also indicate emotional eating.
At Athlean-XX for Women, we’re all about healthy nutrition without the calorie counting. Instead of tracking micronutrients, our nutrition plan recommends combining proteins and slow-burning carbohydrates at every meal and snack to help keep you feeling full. In fact, the Athlean-XX for Women nutrition plan is anything but a diet – we actually recommend you eat more – 5 – 6 times per day! This type of diet will help turn your metabolism into a fat burning machine – when combined with our killer 30 minute workouts. Yes, with Athlean-XX for Women, eat more, exercise shorter but harder and weigh less! Join us on Team Athlean to start your lifestyle makeover now!
P.S. We are a growing community dedicated to and passionate about realistic fitness and nutrition for REAL women. If you enjoyed this post please feel free to share on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. It would be incredibly appreciated!