Food journals have been around for a long time, but with the rise of the wellness industry, they’ve taken on a popular new role in society. Traditionally, they were used in medicine to help doctors evaluate what their patients were eating, such as encouraging diabetics to track carbohydrate intake to balance their insulin levels.
The Food Pyramid – the one your parents referenced to get you to drink your milk and eat your broccoli – inspired a new wave of food tracking that focuses on macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats). A series of books in the early 1900s introduced the concept of calories and how their consumption affects body weight and health. From that point on, food diaries have been used to monitor weight changes by painstakingly attempting to balance the intake of macronutrients and calories with the output of exercise.
But that’s not the only way to use a personal diary, and here at Savor, we believe in embracing the best parts of journaling (introspection, learning, and processing) while leaving behind the aspects that incite feelings of anxiety, shame, or exhaustion.
In a previous post, we discussed why weight can’t accurately indicate the presence of certain health risks, like elevated blood pressure or higher blood levels of fats, sugars, or cholesterol. While we’ve been taught to attribute these health risks to obesity, the truth is that they exist in people of all shapes and sizes. Health improvements – such as lowering cholesterol, improving aerobic capacity, or balancing blood sugar – can occur in a person of any size.
Using a food journal to reach a “goal weight” and disguising it as a measure of health is futile and may be harmful to your mental health. Daily caloric needs vary from person to person and depend on a number of factors, including genetics, age, height, body composition, daily activity levels, and hormones. There is no precise, predictable number to strive for, and even if there were, it’s impossible to calculate all the energy we expend throughout the day. Our bodies are constantly in motion and we burn calories to enable every daily physical function. Internally, your body expends energy digesting food, metabolizing nutrients, and even while thinking.
Attempting to burn more calories than you take in is like aiming for an invisible target. When the difference between failing and succeeding means either happiness or sadness, you are suffering needlessly. Apps like myfitnesspal require users to log all the food and liquid they consume each day, as well as the activities or steps they take. This is incredibly time consuming and establishes unrealistic standards of perfectionism.
We love journaling because it offers a private gateway to a deeper, more honest relationship with yourself. We’ve created a new type of food journaling by removing the complexity of calorie counting, photo taking, and obsessive food tracking and instead, focusing on what’s really driving your decisions and behaviors.
Savor guides you to understand who you are today without any emphasis on attaining an ideal body or losing weight. The path forward and away from negative, limiting self-beliefs requires you to reflect on what has transpired in your life to bring you to your present. Our journal puts you on this path with meaningful sessions on a wide array of topics and sensitive issues that are unique to you, with a structured daily intention, an action or new experience to try, and an affirmation or reflection.
“Journal therapy is the purposeful and intentional use of reflective writing to further mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health and wellness. It offers an effective means of providing focus and clarity to issues, concerns, conflicts, and confusions. In practice, it is the act of writing down thoughts and feelings to sort through problems and come to deeper understandings of oneself or the issues in one’s life.”
We provide a beautiful space for you to create your journal entries as you learn and grow. Each session is written by our in-house holistic nutritionist, with writing prompts to eliminate the daunting, blank screen of a diary. This lightweight, time-effective approach makes it much easier for you to move toward a deeper understanding of yourself.
Inspiration and introspection can strike anywhere, which is why Savor gives you a daily intention that includes an activity or a question to consider as you go throughout your day. When the time feels right for you, simply open the app and let the guided prompts help you explore the current subject.
What kind of food journaling do you think is best for you? Taking a fresh look at your beliefs, emotions, and behaviors can help you to identify how you can use introspective journaling to your benefit. You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. Our intentions, journal entries, and affirmations are designed to facilitate this process.
Our core beliefs shape everything we do, say, think, and ultimately, what and how we choose to eat. From birth, other people’s actions and words have subtly ingrained messages in our minds about our self-worth, our body image, and even how much we deserve love or how significant we are to the world. Today, remember those who have been influential in your life.
Recall an instance where you struggled with a self-deprecating thought. Explore the origin of this thought – where could it have originated in your life, and from whom?
You are the result of a lifetime of experiences. Just as these beliefs were programmed into you, they can be replaced with ones that better serve you.