When life gets busy, as it has this October, I tend to slack on my journaling. That is when my eating plan gets derailed. I have to remind myself, “If you bite it, write it.”
Researchers believe food journals work because they make you accountable, can act as a deterrent and can provide a concrete record of your success. But honestly, I think that if you journal the right way, you can begin to understand how your body reacts to the foods you eat.
I don’t pay too much attention to calorie or carb counts or even exact amounts. I am more interested in what I ate and how I feel physically and emotionally. Here is how I “write it”:
I use a 4-column format. This way you can see the connection between what you eat and how you feel physically and emotionally. Whenever I feel a strong emotion, I record it even if I haven’t eaten anything recently. Here is an actual entry from my food journal the other day.
DATE/TIME What I Ate How I Feel Physically How I Feel Emotionally
Oct 10 4PM apple pie & ice cream energized relaxed, calm, happy
6:30PM tired irritable, edgy
Yesterday evening I found myself irritable and cranky. It was a gorgeous fall day in New Hampshire, I enjoyed the day with my family, went for a jog with my sons and had plenty of rest. There was no reason to be grumpy. Yet when I recorded the way I felt and looked back at what I ate during the day, I realized it was probably the apple pie with ice cream that did me in.
Over time, I have discovered that when I am feeling tired, restless, edgy, easily frustrated, cranky and short-fused it is usually after I have eaten something with sugar and/or simple carbs like white flour. When my blood sugar is optimal and I have been eating lots of veggies and good protein, I have lots of energy and am relaxed, clear, focused and even-tempered. When I realize that the hot-fudge sundae that is calling my name on a hot summer afternoon is ultimately going to make me feel depressed later in the evening, I’ll think twice about indulging. “Nothing tastes as good as feeling good feels!”
If anyone has a different food journal system please comment. I am curious if there is any iPhone app that may be appropriate. I just downloaded Livestrong.com iPhone app and am curious to see if it may be suitable for my PCOS Food Journal.