Food Journaling: Maintaining Balance after Weight Loss Surgery
What is the best way to manage your diet? This is a common question that people pose when looking for ways to lose weight. While weight loss surgery will make the process of losing weight a bit easier by reducing hunger, it doesn’t eliminate the choices you’ll have to make. Even after weight loss surgery you’ll have to make food choices morning, noon and night, and those food choices will directly influence how successful you are at keeping up with your weight loss goals.
Keeping a food journal is a great way to manage those food choices and to stay proactive about your diet.
What’s in a Journal?
Thanks to the rise of the smartphone and the ease of access to technology, keeping a food journal is easier than ever. A food journal works on the same principles of a regular journal, where you would write down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences of the day. But where a food journal differs is in its focus: it is 100% on your food choices.
The point of keeping a food journal is to help you keep track of the food choices that you make throughout the day. Prior to weight loss surgery, this is a great behavioral tactic that can help you track your food choices more closely while allowing you to become more conscious of when and where you are taking in the most calories in your day. After weight loss surgery the keeping of a food journal is just as essential, as it can help you keep track of where you are getting your nutrients and how effectively you are balancing your diet with your limited dietary needs.
Here are some things to think about when keeping a food journal:
- Write down what you are eating while you are eating. This will eliminate the need to look back and guess what you’ve eaten.
- Be precise with portion sizes and food labels. Don’t guess a nutrient amount. Write down exactly what you are eating so that it adds up properly.
- Be consistent. A food journal is only effective when you are keeping it consistently. Make a habit of updating your food journal as you are preparing your food.
In addition to keeping notes about the foods you eat, you may want to consider keeping a log of supporting details—such as development of a rash, a headache, stomach discomfort or fatigue. Being able to track small shifts in your overall well-being in connection to food choices can help you advance on your journey to developing a healthier lifestyle.