Using a food journaling application is handy, but using a pencil and paper has advantages too! First of all, if you don’t want to count calories, then you can simply write down what you ate. Writing down comments about how you feel during different times of the day can also be really helpful. It will help you pinpoint situations or times of day that are more challenging for you. It is very natural to turn to food for comfort when you are feeling stressed, anxious, bored, etc. I know one person who found that she would eat too many snacks in the afternoon due to boredom, so she decided to take a yoga class during this time. By being out of the house and engaged in another activity, her afternoon snacking issue was solved. Of course, other underlying causes of emotional eating are not so easily fixed. But taking the first step to write down how you feel and why you are eating can be crucial.
Writing down your exercise with your food journal can also be really helpful. Capturing how great you felt after a workout can help provide the motivation you need when you are struggling to get out the door to exercise in the future. It can sometimes be easy to forget how exercise lifts your mood, gives you energy, and suppresses your appetite. But if you write it down, you will internalize these important reasons to keep up with your exercise program and be more likely to stick with it!
In summary, whenever people are struggling with a weight loss plateau, or are new to losing weight, I always recommend keeping a food journal. If you take the time to keep up with your food journal, your efforts will pay off and you WILL see results.