When looking to lose weight or change our body type, changes in our diet are just as important as exercise. To achieve our goals, we need to look at our current habits and alter them in a productive manner. In order to work out what needs to be adjusted, a food diary can be a useful tool.
For starters, using a diary opens our eyes to just how much we eat on a daily basis. Many of us tend not to think about all the small snacks we have between our vital meals and do not realise how much they can add up to in terms of sugar, salt and calories each day. When you begin to keep track, you will focus on what you are eating and when. This way you will start to consume more wholesome meals and will think about the type of things you snack on. You can also spot the particular foods that contain higher calories and learn how to make substitutions or reduce the amount you intake.
Keeping a diary also makes you a lot more organised with your meals. To keep the diary accurate you are more likely to take measurements of your food to moderate your intake accurately. Overall, this will improve your portion control and you will start to eat the right amount of the right things. When you start to realise what foods are good and what foods are bad for you, you may also notice that you can plan healthier meals in advance.
If you include the likes of time, location and feelings in your food diary, you can get a better idea of what you eat, when you eat it, where and why. This is a fantastic way to reflect on how certain situations can affect your eating habits. Do you eat more at work? Unhealthier food when with friends? It can also help to judge if you eat certain foods when you feel a certain way or if you feel a certain way after you eat particular foods! When you record things like this, you are able to look back and see where exactly you need to make those all important changes.
Not only can a food diary show you what you need to take out or reduce from your diet, it also opens your eyes to what you’re missing! There may be specific foods or food groups that your diet is lacking and so you can include those to achieve a more balanced and healthy diet. As well as this, keeping track and being able to see exactly what it is you consume every single day can subconsciously make you eat better. You won’t feel happy looking back on a diary with poor habits that are actively creating poor results, so you want to have something good to look back on. In the end, it will be a huge confidence boost to look back through your diary and see how the positive changes you made helped to shape your body.
And finally, if you do choose to take this step to building a new you, remember to:
- Be specific and include every single thing you eat and drink
- Be honest so that even if you do make mistakes, you can spot them
- Always make notes of your intake, never rely purely on memory