Keeping a food diary is a popular way to help you gauge what you are eating in order to either improve your current weight or health status. This article discusses four important items to include in your diary in order to achieve optimal results. Remember that this is a process, and it may take some time before you begin to notice a pattern in your eating habits.
1 – What You Are Eating
Writing down what you are eating in a food diary is probably the most important part of keeping the diary in the first place. Writing down exactly what you are eating will help you keep track of the number of calories, fat, and carbohydrates in your meals. Doing this will not only help you cut calories and fat from your diet, but will also help you to ensure you are consuming a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Eating a balanced diet is not only important for good health, but will help weight loss. Be sure to include juice, soda, milk, and other beverages in your diet log. While these items are not traditional “meals,” they can still contain significant amounts of calories.
2 – Time of Day
Time of day can be very important in creating a food diary. Writing down what foods you eat at a specific time of day will be useful to help identify what foods you eat and when. For example, you might begin to notice that you eat high calorie foods in the early evening before bedtime. By identifying this habit, you will be able to consciously select healthier foods to be eaten at this time, or you might be able to skip the meal altogether. Instead of snacking before bedtime, why not go for a walk? Not only will you be missing out on those extra calories, but you’ll actually be burning calories and losing weight.
3 – Current Mood
Research has found that your mood plays a huge role in the determination of what foods you choose to eat. When writing a food diary, be sure to include how you feel before you start to eat. After awhile, you may begin to notice a trend. For example, maybe you eat when you are bored, tired, or sad. Identifying these trigger moods will help you to understand why you are eating, and can help you to make healthier food choices.
4 – How You Felt after Eating
Finally, be sure to include how you felt after meals and snacks in your food diary. As with the other topics to be included in your diary, you will probably begin to notice a trend. For example, maybe you feel tired or sad after eating foods that are high in fat and calories. By swapping these meals with items that make you feel more balanced and healthy, you will be able to both improve the quality of your life and help in the prevention of any serious health conditions.