Should you Keep a Food Diary?

I get asked this a lot, I guess the correct answer would be yes. However sticking to it for too long can also turn into an obsession. It’s healthy to care what goes into your body and keeping a diary would help you before you start a new routine so you see where you have come from. it is also good when and if you hit a plateau.

it can be a really important tool to figure out why your where you’re at. Most people lie to themselves about their habits, or just plain forget because they ate in an emotional state, also something that is routine doesnt pop into your head when your asked about your foods ie.. That evening bowl of ice cream. You have done it for so long that it doesn’t feel bad. 

There are many ways to write a food diary and luckily we live in an age where “there’s an ap for that” I really like “Lose it” and “My Fitness Pal”. for those who prefer the old-fashioned way keep a notebook handy and write everything you eat and drink. If you decide on the notebook it can get tedious so pick 3 full days in a week. 
 
So what should you write? well here are some good things to get you started so you can identify your eating habits or issues if any.
  • Nutrition information: Calories, fat, protein, portion size, fibre etc.
  • Assess your reasons for eating (are you really hungry?), such as emotion or stress
  • Where you hungry or just craving( if you craved it, write down what it was, there could be a vitamin or mineral deficiency that your body is calling for)
  • Record your feelings before and after eating

Regularly reviewing the information you record will help you understand what is helpful to you and what can be omitted.

After the 3 days go through it, see how many calories you ate, was it really healthy? Did having the chocolate bar really make your world better? If you’re seeing a trainer, nutritionist or have a really health conscious friend get them to take a glance and see some trends or patterns that you might see. We are our own worst enemy, however when food is involved it seems that foods a better friend.

 

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