It was recently discovered through research that the best way to lose weight and eat healthy is to keep a food journal. I have experienced this myself. Keeping track of everything I ate during a day helped me keep track of how much, or how little protein I was taking in and looking up the nutritional information of the food I was eating was always informative and sometimes shocking. Once I found that a sandwich I was ordering from a fast food restaurant that I thought was healthy, and that was advertised as being healthy, contained more calories, sugar, and carbs than the fast food chain’s biggest cheeseburger. That was the end of that fast food restaurant for me.
Keeping a food journal, especially in drug rehab, is key to learning how to eat healthy in sobriety. When people get sober they instinctively gravitate to food with lots of carbs and lots of sugar. Eating poorly in drug rehab can effect the recovery process, causing mood and energy swings that negatively impact treatment. At Northbound we conduct monthly lectures on how to eat properly in recovery.
There are many food journals available at book stores like Borders and Barnes & Noble. The journals are pocket size and can be kept next to your nightstand or in your car for easy access. When I kept a food journal it was just a matter of picking it up before I went to bed and writing down everything I ate during the day. The food journals you buy at book stores often contain nutritional information on a variety of foods that makes it easy to calculate daily protein, sugar, carb, calories, etc…intake. The journals also help a person figure out at the beginning how many calories during a day a person needs to take in depending on height, weight, age, and level of exercise. There are also many helpful websites that will help a person calculate how many calories they should be taking in during a day based physical and activity characteristics.
When I couldn’t find the particular food I was eating in the journal, I would simply go on the web and look it up. I often eat out at restaurants and rarely cook, so it was easy to find the exact nutritional facts of the food I was eating.
Keeping a food journal is easy, it’s just a matter of getting in the habit of keeping the journal. Even just keeping a food journal for a week will help you change your eating habits dramatically.