Be Well by Maureen Shortt

What do I do with my food journal?

In last week's Be Well post you were encouraged to keep a food journal, whether on paper or on your computer or an app. And to include everything you consume-food, beverages including water, gum, cigarettes, a tic tac-everything! Because everything you consume affects your nutrition, your biochemistry, your energy production, your moods, and your health.

In this post we will look at how to interpret or use what you tracked. So, first-what did you notice in keeping your journal? What struck you? It is an exercise in awareness and so it brings its own edifications by just doing it.

Every client I have ever had do a food journal for me hands it to me saying some version of "This was not a normal week." What is happening is that we each have an ideal of how we want to eat, how we intend to eat. And then life happens-family and social events, kids activities, holidays, weekends. Know that no one is eating ideally all the time and be easy with yourself.

Here are 3 things you can look at in your food journal and begin to modify for better health and weight and mood.

First, what is your food timing? Did you eat your first meal within 90 minutes of getting up? If not then you probably had to dip into your muscle as an energy source, and muscle is the LAST tissue you want to be burning.

Second, did you then eat within every 4 hours after that first feeding? If not, then your blood sugar probably dipped and you may have craved sugar or caffeine or cigarettes or white flour foods to 'spike' your blood sugar. But that leads to a blood sugar crash and more cravings for the rest of the day.

And third, did you eat proteins and carbs at each feeding? If you just eat carbs it's like just burning paper in your fireplace-it burns quickly and you need to keep feeding it. If you just ate proteins it's like trying to light a big log with a match-you need the kindling-the carbs-along with the proteins-the logs to get the fire of your fat burning metabolism going.

Knowing all this, you can go back and begin to slowly make changes in how you eat that benefit you.

Happy eating, Maureen Shortt, club Nutritionist, click here to learn more about Maureen.

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