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A common strategy for losing weight is to monitor your food and beverage intake in a journal, wearable tracker or phone app. In a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers found that among 1,700 people in a weight-loss program, those who kept a food journal lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t.
But journaling your foods can be beneficial for more than weight loss — it’s also a common tool used to identify food allergies and gastrointestinal problems, missing food groups and lack of nutrients.
4 Tips For Food Journaling
1) Tell the truth. If you want to reap the benefits of a food journal, make sure it is a real reflection of what — and how much — you’ve consumed.
2) Be thorough. How a food is cooked (fried, broiled, baked) and the extras (condiments, garnishes, sauces, sweeteners) can make a big difference in your calorie intake.
3) Consistency is key. Stick with it for at least a week without skipping days or meals.
4) Add the extras. Noting your mood, time, location and who you’re eating with can help you discover triggers and influences, such as eating when you’re stressed or certain friends who tend to encourage unhealthful choices.