Updated: Apr 6
Writing a food diary can be a very powerful process and extremely beneficial to anyone who wants to loose weight, feel better and have more energy.
I often advise a food diary, this allows you to see what foods you actually consume on a daily basis and don’t forget the liquid calories as well! Although a food diary can seem an overwhelming process as many of us have never actually had to go through this. It can have huge benefits to your goals, so I highly advise giving it a go. What I have decided to do is to give you the process of creating a food diary and how it works. I hope this helps, as its helped many of my clients understand what they’re consuming.
Step 1 – make sure you decide on how you’re going to log your food diary, you can use your phone, a notepad, MyFitnessPal and other apps that help you track food.
Step 2 – Decide the length of time you’re going to track your food intake and stick to this period, generally anything for 5 days, a week or 2 weeks can be extremely beneficial. If you wish to make this a daily thing for as long as possible still set these time periods, it allows you to have a focus and a goal. Set a week goal then follow with another week goal.
Step 3 – Choose when you will be deciding to track your food. Will it be directly after consuming a meal, your first break, lunch break, after work or at the end of the night? As you can see there are many options to choose from. These do not have to be written in stone but to get into a healthy habit of tracking, it does help to have some sort of system in place.
Step 4 – The more detail the better, if you can manage to write down the times you eat and even the amount of calories consumed, this can be very powerful for you to look back on and see where you could potentially be going wrong. Also many find they’re consuming calories without even noticing, don’t be put off by this, it’s a learning process! You can just write down the foods you’re having to start with, its extremely powerful on its own.
What to do with the information you have gathered?
If you’re unsure with what to do with this information, then it might be worth approaching someone who has a rough idea or who you trust to help you structure and give you the nutrition advice needed. Please if somebody gives you a completely different plan and tells you to follow it then throw it in the bin and go find someone else. These changes are not sustainable, you need to take it slow and respect the fact that good things take time. Habits are hard to create but easy to break – good ones that is.
Accountability – This can be the icing on the cake for most, sorry to mention cake. If you are serious about making these changes then why not do something so simple and write a Facebook post. This will let you get it out there and I’m sure others will support you. If you want added support, feel free to tag me into the post and ill be there to help you and keep you going!
If these steps have helped you at all feel free to share and invite others to join the process with you. A small group can be a very powerful thing to help you reach your goals. If not feel free to contact me I will do my best to help you with your goals. Also look out for my Advanced Food Diary steps as this will help you continue with your goal and give you the next steps in changing your lifestyle.
Example food diary:
Oats and 2 eggs
2 handful of almond nuts
Can of diet coke
2 handful of almond nuts
Now this is just an example of how it could look, by no means is this any kind of recommendation for a diet plan or any type of nutrition plan. This is purely for example of how a day COULD look not how it SHOULD look. Just to give you an idea of how you potentially set it out on your notes. Make sure you don’t miss anything out.
I highly recommend using a food tracking app like Myfitnesspal if you're struggling to keep up with writing your food down.
Tip - Take pictures of your food if you keep forgetting to log. This way you can look back over your photos and get an idea of what you've eaten.
What are your experiences with tracking food?