If you haven’t been getting the results you wanted with your diet, it may be time for a new approach. Start a food diary to help you keep track of the foods you eat, and when you eat it.
How and Why You Should Keep Track
Food diaries can be in actual written form, or you can download an app to help you keep track. The premise is the same. Whichever you choose, here are some tips to help you get started.
First, ask yourself if you are dieting to control your hunger or to reduce your caloric intake. You can be a combination of both, but these distinctions help you focus your food diary.
If you are writing your food diary down, here is a generic template you can follow. Or you can create your own. If you are using a smartphone app, it will have guided questions for you to fill in.
In any case, if you are trying to pick healthier options or lower your stress eating, consider questions like whether or not your meals were healthy. Or if you had an adequate amount of fresh produce and whole grains.
If you are trying to reduce how many calories you consume, think about whether your meal portions were small or if you limited your sugar and processed foods intake.
Experts say it is also better to log your food consumption immediately after you eat. You are more likely to record accurately. Also, be accurate about measuring your food portions. Especially at first. Measure if you need to until you have a more accurate picture of what portion sizes look like.
When you’ve kept your food diary for a few weeks, you can get a clearer picture of your eating habits.
If you are serious about dieting, keeping a food diary is a must. Not only will it help you track the food you eat, but it will also help identify triggers and bad habits.