Keeping a log of the food you consume every day may seem such a painstaking task. However, it actually provides a lot of benefits that can ultimately lead to a healthier lifestyle.
For instance, if you're trying to lose weight, listing the food you've eaten every day could show your eating habits and enable you to make certain changes to achieve your goal.
What should I write on my food diary?
For starters, there are basic information that you need to include in your food journal. It's not just about what you ate but how much you actually consumed in a day.
Being very specific is crucial, and your food diary should include the following details:
- Ingredients - Are there special or extra ingredients that are worth noting?
- Quantity - Using measuring spoons and cups is the best way to get accurate portion sizes.
- Time - This helps you track the hours before you eat another meal or snack, basically how often you eat.
- Who you were with - Some people eat less when they're dining alone, and others vice versa. Find out how your eating habits change when you're with family, friends, or a particular person.
- Your mood - There's a reason they call it "emotional eating."
- How you felt after you ate - Did you feel satisfied or uncomfortably full? Writing your feelings will remind you of the experience, and you can use to adjust certain things in your eating habits.
Also, at the end of the day, you should review your food list and find out if you are eating healthy. Here are some questions to help you evaluate your eating habits:
- Did I eat healthy meals?
- Did I have filling foods (including water) with every meal or every snack?
- Did I eat enough fruits, vegetables and raw foods?
- Did I plan for healthy snacking to help conquer cravings?
- Did I keep portion sizes correct for my hunger and not over eat?
- Did I limit sugary, high-calorie foods and beverages?
- Did I include equal amounts of good carbohydrates, protein and fats?
- Did I eat when I was not hungry? If yes, what was I feeling or doing that made me eat?
It may take a while before you get used to it, but an important thing to remember before starting your own food journal is to choose a medium that suits you. You can simply use a regular notebook or a pre-formatted food diary like this one:
There are tons of options for you out there, so you'll surely find something that works for you. Other food journals that are highly recommended are as follows: