It is one of the most tedious painful things to do, but keeping a journal is one of the best ways to track your health, from what may be causing allergy attacks, to weight loss, or just managing your general health.
Keeping a Food Log
When I start working with a client I always ask that they keep at least a 5-day journal. By knowing what you eat, you can see what type of nutrition you are getting, and what you may be lacking. You might find that while you eat plenty of whole grains, but you aren’t getting enough fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, or that you aren’t drinking enough water. When you know this, you can make adjustments and work to improve them. I currently use My Fitness Pal to track my food, but you can use a paper and pen. Here is where you decide what will work best for you.
It Helps You Notice Various Ailments
There may be physical ailments you are dealing with that aren’t made obvious right away. Start a journal and write down how you are feeling on a physical level every day. Be honest and pay attention to your different body cues. Perhaps you have a headache one day, and another day your stomach hurts. By tracking this I’ve been able to find some food intolerances that I have. Whenever I eat hard boiled eggs I get super bloated. But I can eat them scrabbled or mixed into things I’m fine, go figure. When doing this you want to get as specific as possible including writing down what you were doing at the time.
You Can Keep a Schedule of Your Workouts
Call me a hoarder, but I have notebooks of my workouts from the past 15 years. I write my workouts for the month in a notebook track the date, track the weights lifted, I put a star with I hit a PR and how I felt during the workout.
For the last few years I’ve been wearing a Fitbit to help me better track my steps and many other things as well. There are a lot of ways to use a journal for your physical health.
Identify Triggers For Emotional Eating
Emotional eating is unfortunately very common. For many it comes life stress or anxiety. You may feel sadness, depression, anxiety, or other issues and turn to food as a way to cope. If you know you have been emotionally eating, but don’t know why, journaling every day can help you look for patterns.
My journaling has helped me so much as I better learn about my body and it has helped me be a better coach to my clients when I better know the complete picture.
What keeps you from keeping a journal?