Keeping a food diary allows you to keep track of the following: an accurate picture of what you eat daily, a good way to gain more control over your diet, give you a good insight into what you’re eating and how it affects your health and lifestyle, and, best of all, may help you manage or lose weight or eat healthier.
Choose your kind of journal
Decide where you want to set up your food diary, whether it be in a notebook or by downloading a food journal app on your smart phone, what’s important is to keep a record of the date, time, place, item eaten, quantity consumed, and some comments at your end. You can search online for food diary templates which you can print and copy in your notebook, if you have decided to record your food diary in a notebook, and if you prefer to download an app, there are many to choose from the web or you can try online tracking device.
Make it as much as possible to be accurate in your recordings, such that you be very specific in taking notes of everything that goes into your mouth and breaking down complicated foods, by noting down the specific ingredients used so that you’ll remember what foods went into each dish and its equivalent calories. In addition to this, don’t forget to also record snacks, beverages, and, most of all, your total water intake so you’ll have a better insight on whether you need to consume more water to help you hydrated.
Write down the reaction to the food you have eaten
Jot down what were your impressions to the meal served before eating them and 20 minutes after eating, write again your reactions to the variety of foods that you have eaten, noting down what particular foods satisfied you and give a reason for that, as well as your moods during the meal and your hunger level and if there were instances of side effects after eating, like feeling nauseous or having an upset stomach.
Look for food patterns in your eating habits
There will likely be a pattern of the food choices that you made in your daily food intake, which you should study and analyze to determine if the foods affect your mood or which meals leave you hungry or satisfying or what situations do you tend to overeat.
If your goal is to lose weight the proper way, a food diary can be a motivating tool to help you reach that diet plan, and being able to track your progress can be inspiring for you to keep on going until you feel satisfied on this chosen path to your goal. It is important to keep track of your weight weekly so you can find out if it is fluctuating and note what foods were eliminated for helping you maintain weight without feeling hungry or weak, and record what exercises you have performed during your food diet journey.