Do Food Diaries Work?

Kiara Tchir
May 22, 2020

Food diaries have been around for a long time, but with the rise of the wellness industry, they’ve gained new popularity. They’re usually used to track food and monitor weight changes by painstakingly attempting to balance the intake of macronutrients and calories with the output of exercise. 

What do these food diaries do best? Making the author feel guilty and even more confused about food and their body than before they started journaling.

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. Likewise, it’s not possible to know how many of each macronutrient (proteins, fats and carbs) your body needs each 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. 

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. 

We’ve created a new type of food diary 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. Our journal contains meaningful sessions on a wide array of topics and sensitive issues that are unique to you, with a structured daily intention, action or new experience to try, and an affirmation or reflection. 

Do you use a food diary? If you do, it’s worth examining why – and the answer is probably complex. Consider how your food diary influences your food choices and your emotions, and extend compassion to yourself as you uncover any eating behaviors that you’d like to change. Self-awareness is vital to this process, and Savor is here to get you started. To begin now, download Savor today from the App Store or Google Play.

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You are not alone in your quest to build a healthier relationship with food. In embracing mindful eating, you will learn to naturally find the weight that is right for you. Download Savor to begin a well-balanced life today.