From civilization’s earliest times, and certainly preceding language as we know it, people have used whatever means were available to them to record their pursuits. In the intricate cave paintings of Lascaux, France, now more than 17,000 years old, Paleolithic peoples chronicled aspects of their daily lives in more than 1,500 images. In Spain’s Cave of Altamira, prehistoric scribes illustrated the challenge of the hunt in detailed charcoal and ochre drawings. So what are the benefits of writing things down, or using an appropriate app, when it comes to your weight loss diet or just good, healthy, long-term eating?
Like the ancients, as children many of us used a diary to record our activities, and also as a means to express our dreams and desires. But experts say journaling (make it easy: use a pocket-sized notebook or app) as adults may provide even more benefits, playing a significant role in helping us achieve our goals and leading to a healthier life in the process. If we are paying attention to what we eat, it can keep us on track.
Weight Loss Diet Log Apps
Writing things down is what some experts call a significant “life tool,” the writing process helps bring out insights and identify ideas that may not have occurred to us in passing thoughts, and allows us to chart and measure change and progress along the way to getting what we desire. When it comes to eating, keeping a food log or diary—including using helpful apps and tracking tools like “FitDay.com,” “MyFoodDiary.com” or “MyFitnessPal.com” if that’s your preference–can serve as reminders to stay the course, as well as showing us that perhaps only 48 hours ago, we indulged in that piece of pie so maybe it’s better to reach for the apple and peanut butter (natural—no sugar—if you please!) instead.
Many diet and fitness apps also provide access to calorie counts and nutrition information (protein; carbs; fat), as well as activity required to burn off calories from what you’re about to eat (whoa to that bag of corn chips!). Did you know it takes a fast 30-minute bike ride to burn off one slice of pepperoni pizza (about 325 calories)? And you’ll need to run (that’s run—not walk) for 55 minutes to burn off a Hershey’s chocolate bar (210 calories).
Research also shows that keeping a food diary can help you identify why and what you eat when you are stressed, tired, angry, bored, anxious, in front of the TV, etc. This may reveal a pattern with the goal of creating better habits in the final analysis.
On the truly encouraging side, being able to review all the good food choices you made can serve as incentive to keep it up, especially if you are following a weight loss diet and the pounds are coming off. According to some studies, documenting what participants ate helped them lose weight more readily than other groups who didn’t write anything down.
Some of the world’s most successful business people, artists, athletes and entrepreneurs have reportedly used journals to help them achieve their goals—which includes writing down their fears and any obstacles, and working out problems—day by day, week by week, or month by month. To help ensure that your eating plan keeps working for you, why not use whatever vehicle is comfortable to record your food choices, obstacles, thoughts and continuing objectives on the path to success.