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Why Everyone Should Use a Food Journal

Food journals are an incredible tool for providing a detailed record of your food and beverage intake.  Using FitDay, a free online food journal service, you can track specific information regarding your diet.  Simply type in the foods you ate, select the appropriate portion size, and the program does the calculating.  Maintaining a food journal like FitDay is extremely valuable for people with a variety of personal goals.

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If you are trying to lose (or gain) weight, food journaling can play a huge role in your success.  People who have lost weight and who are able to sustain their loss often report that recording what they eat on a daily basis was one of the keys to their weight loss achievement.  FitDay gives you instant information telling you how many calories and grams of protein, fat, carbohydrate, and fiber you have consumed.  If you enter in your age, weight, height, and activity level, you will get an estimation of your daily caloric needs that you can use to compare to what you are actually eating.  There is even a page for tracking your exercise which will estimate any extra calories burned.  You can then shoot for eating fewer calories and/or exercising more to lose weight and monitor your progress.  
 
Food journals are also great for the health-conscious person or anyone interested in analyzing their diet to see what levels of nutrients they are getting.  Individual vitamins and minerals are tracked and you are able to compare your intake to the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).  This can bring to your attention any particular nutrients that you may be lacking in your diet.   If you happen to have low iron levels you may wish to focus your attention on that specific mineral.  Maybe you are concerned with getting enough calcium.  After recording your food intake you will have a good idea of how much you have obtained through your diet.

Actually, food journals are a smart idea for everybody, since most people eat out of habit without really thinking about what they are putting into their bodies.  We know that the foods we eat have a direct effect on our health, the way we feel, and our risk of many diseases.  This is why it is so important to be aware of our food choices.   Online journaling makes you accountable for what you consume.  It increases your mindfulness.  If you know you have to enter that large milkshake into your journal you may think twice or choose a healthier option before drinking it. Even a one or two week journaling trial can prove to be beneficial.  You will get an idea of what exactly your diet consists of and this can be a very eye-opening experience.  You can learn something from the practice and make conscious changes to your diet.

Food journals can assist you with calorie counting, vitamin and mineral tracking, and help you take charge of your health with the important information they provide.  When you set goals for yourself, FitDay is a means of tracking your progress as you move towards your goals.  I cannot think of a more fun and educational way to become your healthiest self!

Corinne Goff is a Registered Dietitian who is absolutely passionate about food, health, and nutrition. Corinne has a BA in Psychology from Salve Regina University and a BS in Nutrition from the University of Rhode Island. As a nutritionist, her objective is to help people reach their health goals by offering a personalized holistic approach to wellness that incorporates natural foods and lifestyle changes. She works together with her clients to develop daily improvements that they feel comfortable with and that are realistic. She believes that the focus on wholesome, nutrient-rich, real food, is the greatest possible way to become healthier, have more energy, decrease chances of chronic disease, and feel your best.


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