Food Diary Tool
Timeless Nutrition Tips...
People who are vigilant about keeping a food diary are usually the most successful in losing and keeping weight off, meeting nutritional needs, and spotting a deficiency in their diets.
Writing down what you eat forces you to evaluate your choices and to avoid food temptations.
Gaining control over what you eat is a huge step in improving body composition, wellness, and fitness. But don't over look the most important factor. That is, be honest with yourself. Write down every single nibble that crosses your lips.
Tips to Keep a Food Diary
- Write down everything you eat or drink, including vitamin-mineral supplements and medications.
- Record the time you ate or drank.
- Record food immediately so you don't forget what you've eaten.
- Be honest. Don't beat yourself up for overindulgence or eating "comfort foods".
- Be specific. Write down cooking method, brand names, amount, and ingredients in foods such as sandwiches or salads.
- Record any feelings related to eating or any obstacles you face when making your food choices.
Know Your Personal Eating Style
What is your personal eating style? What, where, when and why you eat is really a very personal issue. We acquire our eating habits over many years and they can be very difficult to change, even when needed due to diabetes. No matter your reasons, you are not alone if you feel this way. A lot of us don’t think about any personal eating style. We just eat!
Perhaps it is time to stop and take a look at your personal eating style. See if there is room for improvements.
The key to your success is examining your current eating habits and making the necessary changes without compromising too much. Keep a food diary for one or two weeks – just do as you usually do. Record the four W’s you ate.
- What did you eat?
- When did you eat it?
- Where did you eat it?
- Why did you eat it?
Take note of the times you find you ate more than you needed to, or ate just because. Ask yourself if you were really hungry or simply wanted to eat something because that is your habit? Say, watching TV or at a movie, etc. Ask your loved ones and friends to support and encourage you – maybe they already are!
Most importantly, be brutally honest with yourself. Know one else needs to see this information but you.
Above all, take your time in making your dietary changes. You didn’t develop your eating habits overnight and you cannot be expected to change them overnight. Be kind to yourself and do not place difficult demands on your back. After all, you have the rest of your life to put your new diet into practice!
Baby steps are far better than no steps. Just head in the right direction.
Pay Attention to Portion Sizes
People are becoming accustomed to larger portion sizes and are serving them in their homes as well as eating them in restaurants. Here are some ways to determine a proper portion size without having to weigh or measure.
- 1 cup. The size of your fist. Example: About two servings of pasta or oatmeal.
- 1 ounce. The size of your entire thumb. Example: A piece of cheese.
- 1 or 2 ounces of snack food. A handful. Example: 1 ounce nuts=1 handful; 2 ounces pretzels=2 handfuls.
- Single serving of mayonnaise or margarine. Thumb tip. Example: A small dip of the knife (don't make it a high dip!)
- 3 ounces. Palm of your hand. Example: A cooked serving of meat.
Controlling Portion Sizes at Home
- When you get home from grocery shopping, divide your meats and fish into portions right away.
- When you are eating at home, divide your cooked food into portions in the kitchen and put them on individual plates for serving. Leave the remaining food in the kitchen while you eat to reduce the temptation to take more.
- Ingredients matter, too. This is an important fact to keep in mind. Choose low-fat alternatives whenever possible.
- When eating in a restaurant, try to leave half of your food on your plate. Take the leftovers home for another meal. Say "No, thank you", to appetizers. Split an entree' with a friend or partner. You'll both benefit. Do not be fooled by salads that sound "healthy". These are often doused with fattening dressings and filled with high fat ingredients.
Get a grip on portion sizes, before they get a grip on you!