One of the biggest mistakes seen in the journey of health and fitness is not keeping track of progress. Some of us have goals and aimlessly go day by day without tracking what we are doing to get there, or our progress in reaching our goals. Logging can help in finding mistakes that need to be fixed, and finding what is going right that needs to be continued or enhanced. Start a food diary to increase your success in the nutrition area of your health, and help you reach your goals. These goals can be anything from weight management, weight loss, muscle strengthening, fat loss, personal health management, or any other health and fitness goal.
What should I include in my food diary?
The amounts of the different food and drink items should be included in the food diary. Measurements can vary from cups to ounces, or even the number of items.
What kind of foods and drinks are important as well. This should be very specific, so different additives should be included. For example, if salt is added to your salad then that should be written down as well as the salad and it’s ingredients. This helps in areas such as breaking down the macronutrients you are eating.
Some information is even more beneficial to include of weight loss is the goal
The times of day that you are eating matters as well, are you skipping breakfast and eating more during the evening?
For weight loss especially this is very beneficial. Sometimes a nutrition issue can start with a certain setting or location, so it is important to include if you are in the kitchen, dining room, office, or out to eat.
Again, especially beneficial for weight loss it is important to include the people you are with as well. What friends you are with, family members, or if you are eating alone.
List the activities you are dong while eating such as working or watching tv.
How you feel when you are eating can relate to eating habits, and help with making changes like developing other coping methods for a mood such as stress.
Just remember to…
Write Down Everything
Every single thing matters, and something that you think might seem so small and important may indeed be very important. Write it all down
Do It Now
Write it down as soon as possible, some things might be too intricate to remember every detail. Some apps were developed that make it very easy to keep a log right on your phone like MyFitnessPal.
Record your food exactly how you eat it, so if it was turkey with gravy, the gravy definitely needs to be included as well.
Tell The Truth
If this is something that you need to bring to a doctor, health coach, nutritionist, or anyone else that is holding you accountable including yourself, tell the truth. Cheating does not increase your success, and the only person it will be hurting is yourself.
Article written by GUADS member Breanna, with contributions from familydoctor.org