Keeping a food diary may also help a dieter regain control over any emotional eating. You may be able to connect situations that you experience to the act o snacking. It is easier to perceive what triggers you to do things like “stuff down your anger with food” , cheer up by eating carbohydrates or even eat just out of sheer boredom. By noting everything you eat in a diet diary or food journal, you’ll be able to see exactly what sorts of situations and stressors tempt you to overeat or be undisciplined with your diet.
Keeping a Food Diary Helps With Emotional Eating
Sometimes a counselor or a psychiatrist will ask you to keep a food diary so that they find out if anything that you are eating is triggering obesity. The same goes for certain types of fitness instructors, dieticians, and nutritional counselors. As long as you write down an accurate description of everything that you put in your mouth during a 24 hour period one of these health professionals should be able to help you. This is because certain foods and eating habits are known to cause carbohydrate cravings, sugar addiction, sodium cravings and other problems.
Generally, food diaries are meant to be used for a whole week, but studies have shown that even keeping track of what you eat for 1 day can help you make changes in your diet.
Design Your Own Food Diary
Keeping a food diary is not complicated. You can do it digitally or in a journa by hand.You should structure each page in your food diary so that it has six columns titled: Time and Place, Food and Quantity, Trigger/Circumstance, Mood and Water Intake
- In Column 1, detail what time you ate the food and where. Write down whether or not it was consumed in a restaurant, at home, or in your car. You also need to note whether you were eating alone, with friends or sitting down at a family meal.
- In Column 2, describe what you ate. Don’t forget to include everything that was included in the meal or snack, including salt, seasonings, salad dressing, butter, sour cream mayonnaise, sauces, and gravies and whether it is was a hot or cold food.
- In Column 3, you need to indicate how much of that particular food that you ate according to its size (1 large grapefruit), volume (.5 litres o milk), weight (2 kg of cheese) or the number of items (22 grapes.)
- In Column 4, you should list any non-eating activities that you might have been doing at the same time as eating such as strolling in the park, taking public transportation, working at the computer or watching television.
- In Column 5, take the time to describe what sort of mood you were in while you were eating. Were you feeling sad, happy or depressed or was it simply time to have a meal?
- In the sixth Column, keep track of your water intake and when you drank the water. You should be drinking eight glasses of water a day. Do not include tea, soft drinks or any other types of beverages as part of this water intake. Give yourself a pat on the back if you somehow manage to drink more than eight hours of water a day.
Using a Food Diary to Keep Goals
There are certain tricks to keeping a food diary successfully. For instance, make sure that you carry your food journal with you wherever you go. Don’t depend on your memory to recall information about what you ate. The memory of a dieter tends to be very selective. Make sure you record what you are consuming as you go.
It is also helpful to set daily, weekly and long-term goals for yourself in your food diary. Nobody knows why this works but people who imagine that they will succeed often do. Also, it is a way of competing with yourself that sometimes works when you are trying to deal with a goal that many people find difficult such as weight loss. You will find that when you do meet the goals that you have outlined in your food journal that it is very inspiring and gratifying. However, if you don’t make these goals you should also not despair. One of the keys to working with goals in a way that works for you is to not make your expectations of yourself too high. One of the reasons that many dieters don’t succeed is that they decide to lose a lot more weight than they humanly can and then get upset when it doesn’t happen.
Keep in mind that keeping a food diary is not just another chore. It is a useful tool that can help you track your progress as well as help you set goals that can truly help you change destructive eating habits as well as lose weight at the same time.
Would you like to lose weight, improve your immunity and boost your general health in a safe and natural way? If so, feel free to contact us at the Pinewood Natural Healthcare website at www.pinewoodhealth.ca, or you can call our Toronto Office at (416) 656-8100. We offer nutritional guidance, iv therapy and many types of naturopathic weight loss care. We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at 905 427-0057. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services.