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© 2014 Shanna Lea
Keeping a food diary is an effective way to know exactly how and what you are eating throughout the month. If you want to maintain a healthy diet or lose weight, then keeping a food diary or journal can help you achieve these goals. Read on to learn about the benefits of keeping your own food diary.
A Food Diary Shows You What You Eat
Research shows that there’s a big difference in what we think we eat, and what we actually do eat. Especially when we are multitasking while we eat, like checking emails. The most important advantage of establishing the habit of writing down what you eat is to keep track of your eating patterns and habits. This will help you determine what changes you need to make in your diet.
A Food Diary Will Help You on the Road to a Slimmer You
When you keep a food diary, you’ll notice when you are not getting enough fruits or vegetables in your diet, or if you are skipping breakfast too often. As you read back through the month of your daily entries, you’ll see what your diet lacks and then can plan future meals for your daily menu.
How to Keep a Food Journal
Here are a few guidelines to follow when writing in your food diary:
- Take the time to record every meal, drink and snack you consume immediately. Don’t wait until the end of the day to record it all, since you may be tired and might not remember everything you ate.
- Record what you’re doing while you’re eating—listening to music, at work, on a break, watching TV, emotional eating, etc.
- Be honest about recording everything you eat. This is not about guilt or punishing yourself. It’s simply so you can see where the holes are in your diet so you can address them honestly. If you went through the Starbucks drive-thru, then record it. Then at the end of the month, you can see if you went through there more than you remembered. This will help you cut out the costs, to your health and waistline (and financially). You are the only one reading your food journal, so be as honest with yourself as possible.
- At the end of each day, examine how you feel and how eating has affected your mood. I know if I eat sweet foods or processed foods during the day, I’m more tired at night and feel sluggish. If I’ve eaten a lot of veggies, fats and protein, I have more energy.
Food Journals and Diaries
You can choose any kind of notebook for your food journal—hardbound, spiral, cheap or something nice. Or make one using mixed media if you are creative. It’s up to you. Take a look at the following journals for some ideas.