Diets suck! I abhor them. I don’t agree with them. They don’t work. But as much as we’d like to, we can’t just go about life mindlessly eating anything and everything we fancy, because let’s face it we’d all be the size of a house. A report from the Office for National Statistics discovered that we consume approximately 50% more calories than we think we do. That’s a staggering amount, and certainly explains why as a nation our waistlines are expanding.
Why Are We Eating More Than We Think We Are?
There are a few different reasons as to why many of us are consuming more than we should, but the biggest factor is quite simply that we have no idea how much we’re shovelling into our cake holes each day. No seriously, it’s that simple. Many of us know what foods are good for us and we know which ones aren’t so good for us. However, when it comes to remembering what we’ve eaten that day, it’s either a case of us having too much going on in our heads already to retain that kind of mindless information or, and this is the more likely explanation, we are in denial. We don’t want to admit to ourselves what we have eaten, because that brings on the food guilts, followed by the shame, and then our relationship with food worsens further. And this is exactly the reason so many of us get caught up in the diet cycle. But for me personally, I believe that there is a marked difference between the soul destroying, controlling nature of a ‘diet’ versus being able to keep on track with what and how much you eat as a means of maintaining a healthy relationship with food.
There is a lot to be said about keeping a journal. Wellness experts and life coaches advocate the use of them for many different reasons and the same principles can be applied when it comes to keeping a food journal. Jotting things down not only makes you more accountable, but it also gives you the knowledge and the power to take that information and move forward in a positive way.
The Food Journal
Box Clever Press recently sent me a copy of their updated Food Journal to try out and heaven knows I think I need it at the mo, because after all the extra chocolate and sweet treats at Christmas I have definitely slipped into some bad habits. I’m hoping that this will give me a reality check and help me to break out of my ridiculously out of control snack cycle.
Let me take you through the journal and show you what you get inside:
- Lightweight A5 13-week food journal with wipe-clean cover – Great for when you’ve left it on the kitchen worktop and accidentally slopped food all over it!)
- Milestone awards page – Good for setting yourself a goal along with a reward for reaching the goal.
- How to use guide – just in case you weren’t sure, or if you need a little reminder along the way.
- Weight loss tracker chart – 2 versions; a standard table format and a line graph for those of us who work better with visuals.
- Body Tracker – for keeping track of how your measurements change, because sometimes this will give better results than weight loss and will help show you that your efforts haven’t been for nothing.
- Daily Diet Record – broken down into breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks. Also includes a section to jot down exercise, water, number of steps, and how many of your 5 a day you’ve had.
- Weekly Summary – allows you to reflect on your week by jotting down your thoughts and feelings.
What Do I Really Think About Box Clever Press Food Journal
OK so let’s cut to the chase here. There is no question that this journal is aimed at people who are already on or who have just started a diet in order to lose weight. Which is fine, if that’s what you want. But something doesn’t sit quite right with me in that it packages itself up as a ‘food journal’ and in my mind this should therefore promote the notion of mindful eating. The sense that by becoming more in tune with how your body feels and functions when you eat the right quantity and the right types of food you can move away from diet culture and towards a more positive and a more sustainable way of eating.
Buy this if you swear by diets like Weight Watchers and Slimming World. Buy this if you need to calorie count in order to lose weight. Buy this is you are a slave to the numbers. Buy it if you like being on a diet as it gets the results you’re after. But please don’t buy this if you’re trying to move away from all of this and you are simply looking for a way to highlight some food changes you could make in order to eat a more healthy and varied diet.
The Food Journal has a place and there are people out there who need this kind of tracking system and way of recording what they eat so that they can feel more in control and to help them keep going on their diet journey. That person isn’t me and whilst I think it could be handy for me to use as a means of showing myself exactly what it is I’m eating, I feel like with the terminology that is used in the journal, such as ‘diet’ and ‘reward’, it is too much of a trigger to go down a path I don’t really want to find myself going down again.