140. The Surprising Benefits of Keeping a Photo Journal of What You Eat

Are you looking for an easy and effective way to improve your eating habits and reach your health goals? Then this episode is for you! 

In this week’s episode, we explore the surprising benefits of keeping a photo journal of what you eat. From increased awareness and better portion control to identifying food allergies and tracking progress, we cover it all. 

Join us as we delve into the science behind why visual food journals are so effective and hear about real-life stories. Whether you’re just starting out on your health journey or looking to take your nutrition to the next level, you won’t want to miss this eye-opening episode. 

So open your camera and let’s get started!


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Hello and welcome to The Funsized Podcast. My name is Kierstin and I help petite women all over the world feel empowered via food, fitness, fashion and this podcast. Every 5 episodes I do a Funsized Muscle Tank give-away to the little lady with the best podcast review but I’m a little embarrassed to say, there hasn’t been a since review within the last month – this is mostly my fault because I don’t think I’ve mentioned this giveaway once in the last 5 episodes so that’s on me. And hey, I get it, Apple doesn’t make it very easy to leave a review and if you’re listening on spotify, there isn’t anywhere to leave a review. So the whole thing isn’t very easy is it? That’s why I’m gonna reward everybody who takes the time to leave a positive rating and review between now and the end of March 2023! Your ratings and reviews help this podcast grow more than you’d think and it especially helps to establish credibility so that I can get more petite powerhouses to interview. So if you’ve been a long time listener or if this is the first episode you’re hearing, I’d love to hear your thoughts and I’d love to spoil you with some Funsized goodies!

Today, I want to talk about a simple yet powerful tool that is so under-rated but can actually help you achieve your fitness and wellness goals: a visual food journal. But I’m not just talking about writing down what you eat in a notebook or an app. While that’s totally helpful and can really help you gain awareness of foods, I want to take it back a step. I’m talking about something MUCH simpler: taking a quick pic of whatever it is you’re about to eat. Aka a visual photo food journal, not a written one. 

Being someone that has kept a written food journal in an app on and off for years, I’m not knocking on that approach so please don’t take it that way. But I’ve had this realization now that I have the *easy* ability to keep a visual food journal with pictures inside The Funsized Fitness App… the realization is keeping a visual food journal is not only easier and quicker (since it’s just a quick snap, rather than looking up each individual item – which I KNOW can take a bit of time) but taking pictures is also kinda fun. So if you’re someone who gets intimidated by the numbers when tracking macros or calories or if you’re someone who feels like it’s daunting or too-time consuming to keep a written journal BUT you still want to do something to stay on top of your nutrition. This might be your answer. 

It might seem silly that a few pictures a day could have a profound impact on your wellness so let me tell you what’s actually happening when you pull out your camera before diving into a meal or snack.   

  1. First, It’s a Pattern or Habit interrupt. It causes you to stop and think before cleaning off the box of chocolate chip cookies. Which helps to make your unconscious habits conscious, which is huge for changing deeply ingrained habits. If you’re anything like me, you might whip out your phone to take a picture of the monstrous plate of an epic burger on donut buns with a fried egg and all the works for no reason other to stumble on that picture years later and remember how amazing that thing was. But you don’t really think twice about doing so when you’re eating just any old burger ya whipped up on a tuesday. So here’s what would happen if you do… You’d become aware. Instead of mindlessly eating the burger or whatever it is – taking a picture becomes a moment of pause because it’s out of your norm and out of your routine. What you do in that moment of pause is kind of up to you though. You could actually think about what it is you’re eating and if this really aligns with your goals, you could take a deeper look your portion size and later determine if it’s enough based on how you’re feeling after.  Basically, That pause could help you to become more mindful and aware of what you are eating and drinking. With awareness, you can make changes. And in the beginning, it might not seem like you’re doing much(and just know that in the beginning, all you’re trying to do is make a habit of taking the photos. You can make changes and move mountains later -you don’t have to have all the answers now.)  but after making a habit of collecting pictures and then going back to analyze those pictures, you can identify patterns, habits, and areas where you may need to make changes which brings us to number 2
  2. Keeping a visual food journal can help you Identify Food Allergies: This is actually something I was just talking to my brother about because he’s trying to figure out what it is that could be upsetting his stomach. When I asked him if he had any clue about what it could be his answer was “IDK I haven’t really had anything new or different” and the thing is… if you’re experiencing any negative reactions after eating doesn’t exactly have to be something new or different. It could be something you eat EVERYDAY. It could be the quantity of that thing, it could be the time of day you had it OR it could be what you had in combination with it OR it could be that you had it on an empty stomach. The possibilities are ENDLESS – but, a visual food journal COULD help you determine the pattern that’s giving you that negative symptom you’re experiencing. It can definitely be difficult and take some time to narrow down the culprit and then you’ll have to try an elimination diet to see if that really is the bugger but you’re 50x more likely to figure it out if you’re keeping a visual food journal then if you’re not doing anything at all to figure it out. 
  3. Next is Accountability. A photo food journal is excellent to help you keep accountable because it’s a clear documentation of your eating habits. It’s one thing to say, “I ate really well last week.” It’s another to actually see what you’ve eaten. For SOME of us who are visual learners, it could be more helpful than using a calorie tracking app because you can actually SEE what and how much you’re eating. 
  4. This accountability and awareness from number one is what leads to better eating habits which could also lead to weight management. By keeping a visual food journal, you can see the portions and types of food you are consuming, which may help you make healthier choices, lower your calorie intake and could eventually aid in Weight Management.
  5. And finally, Keeping a visual food journal can make you feel more in control and empowered over your food choices and eating habits. I can’t tell you how many times my 1:1 clients tell me how productive and amazing they feel when they feel in control of their eating habits. It’s one of those things I could talk on and on about but you just won’t understand the magicalness of it until you feel it for yourself. 

Overall, a visual food journal can be a valuable tool for anyone looking to improve their eating habits and make healthier choices.From increased awareness and better eating habits to portion control and weight management, keeping a visual record of what you eat and drink can have a profound impact on your health. Whether you’re a seasoned health enthusiast or just starting out on your journey, a photo food journal could be that simple, fast, and easy habit you’ve been looking for.

So to keep a photo journal you could do 1 of 2 things.

First is,  you could take pics and save them to a folder on your phone. If you take photos without saving them to a separate folder, you’ll have random food photos along with other photos that you’re taking so the folder is the way to go but Not gonna lie, it could get really messy.

So that’s why I recommend option #2 which is using an app on your phone. There’s a lot of different journal apps out there that allow you to upload pictures. One of them is the DayOne app. This is actually the journal app I use weekly to recap the week and dump my emotions. I haven’t actually uploaded any pictures to it but I know that you can upload multiple pictures in one day so it would work well. IF you have the time, you could also write about what it was – if the picture isn’t 100% clear and leave any comments or notes about how that meal made you feel later if you’re using it to find any food sensitivities as mentioned earlier.

Another app you can use is The Funsized Fitness App! I’m definitely a little biased to this one considering it’s my app but I will say, there’s something nice about having all my workouts, meals, and stats like steps and sleep all in one spot. There’s 2 more perks about keeping a photo food journal inside The Funsized Fitness App rather than any old journal app. 1.  is that if you ever do wish to go the extra mile and count your macros you can do very easily since uploading photos would have already become a habit. And 2. The external accountability of knowing that I will see your pictures and your meals might just be the thing that helps you get the ball rolling. For some of us, this internal accountability of taking pictures is enough to see and change habits. For most of us though, having that external accountability is what leads to more significant changes. The Funsized Fitness App is literally like a little pocket-sized accountability partner. 

If you want to get an inside look at the app, I’ve put the demo video of how to use the meal tracker in the show notes. Just Don’t get intimidated by all the macro tracking things I mention in the demo video. And if you want to get access to the app so that you can start a food photo journal, head on over to funsized.life/app to pick your program, register, and download the app! 

We all know that exercise IS important but nutrition plays just as big a role (if not bigger!) in fitness and general wellness. And so that’s why I’m extremely excited and passionate about having a meal-tracker and the ability to take and upload pictures of meals within the app to help you stay on top of your nutrition so that you can reach your fitness goals. 

Alright, that’s all I got for you today. As always, thanks for listening, don’t forget to subscribe, and leave that positive rating and review and I’ll catch ya in the next episode!

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