As you probably have figured out, I am not really what you would call a ‘food blogger’.
I don’t take pictures of everything I eat; I instead like to focus on a variety of topics that appeal to me. On average I probably post 1 meal a day and I also enjoy posting healthy baking recipes often too.
As Dr. Phil would say:
“How’s that working for ya?”
I really enjoy blogging and I have especially enjoyed focusing on writing- it is one of my passions!
I like the freedom I have by not taking a picture of everything I eat. I like to be able to just sit down at the table and not have to worry where my camera is. I like to be able to stand at the counter and munch crackers from a box mindlessly (Hey it happens!). Given my history with disordered eating, I really don’t think it would be wise for me to take pictures of everything I eat. Right now I think I have achieved a nice balance in my life.
Yesterday, I read this great article on a new study that was done on the topic of food journaling. Lydia Zepeda and David Deal from the University of Wisconsin-Madison wanted to find out whether taking pictures of one’s food would be more beneficial for weight loss than simply writing it down.
Does taking pictures of one’s food make one more mindful of what they are eating?
Zepeda and Deal asked 43 participants to record what they ate for one week in words and as pictures. This required that participants snapped pictures of their food prior to eating it.
When researchers quizzed the volunteers, they found that photo diaries were found to be the most effective tool.
Taking pictures of one’s food appeared to provide a strong visual reminder of what was consumed, including binges. Snapping a couple shots immediately prior to eating served as a critical evaluation point and made participants mindful of the situation.
In comparison, written food logs are often seen as less effective because they can be written hours later when it is already too late. Many dieters will sit down before bed and write down what they ate. This may not be as effective a strategy as people assume.
The results of the study allude to the possibility of the usefulness of the photo journaling tool. Dietitians are beginning to ask their clients to take pictures of what they eat as it is a much more precise gauge.
I can definitely see how taking pictures of one’s meals can result in making better food choices! Images are such a powerful tool. I think this study is a bit similar to the study about participants who eat their meals in front of a mirror. Guess what? They eat less! The mirror serves as a ‘visual’ reminder of what they are putting into their mouth. Other research shows that people eat more in dimly lit rooms. See a pattern here?
I think that photo journaling would be a great tool for dietitians to obtain a better ‘visual’ of what their client is eating! However, it isn’t fool proof, I mean…who really knows if someone is truly photographing everything they eat.
Taking pictures of one’s food can be problematic though. As I indicated above, taking pictures of everything I eat probably wouldn’t be a good idea for myself. For others it is a great tool that keeps them in check and tells them if they are eating enough. It is quite similar to people who have told me that they count calories to make sure that they are getting enough calories in a day. If they don’t count calories, they usually end up eating too little. So I definitely think that like everything in the health world, it can have a positive or negative influence on someone.
I know some food bloggers who have told me that taking pictures of everything they ate made them crazy and obsessed and they had to stop. Conversely, many have no problem with snapping pictures of what they eat and do so without the blink of an eye! It is simply a quick blip during their day that they have become accustomed to.
Taking pictures of one’s food is not going to work for everyone! Many people would find it bothersome. On occasion, when I plan to snap a few shots of a meal it can be annoying! Sometimes I just want to eat!! Eric gets to happily munch away and I have to try my best to take professional looking pictures. Taking pictures of my food can be a real drag! There, I said it!!
I love the freedom of taking pictures when I want to. I guess I am a bit rebellious that way and don’t like to feel that I have to do something. I think if I felt like I had to snap all of my meals it would take some of the joy out of the process for me.
My questions for everyone today are:
- Do you take pictures of what you eat? Why or why not?
- Has taking pictures of what you eat ever caused problems for you?
- Do you think it is a helpful tool for weight loss?
I’m off to bake, bake, bake! Baking madness in the kitchen today! See you tonight for some fun pictures!!!!