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Eating healthily – Food Diary

Are there areas of your daily eating habits that you think could be improved? Did you really need that packet of crisps earlier? Is there something else you could have instead of the chocolate bar you are about to snack on? Could you swap those chips for veg on your dinner plate? Read on…

The importance of maintaining a healthy weight and keeping healthy is getting the balance right when it comes to food and exercise or activity. If you do enough physical activity each week but you eat all the wrong foods, you are probably not getting anywhere. By all means eat what you like and enjoy but perhaps think about whether it is benefitting your body or if it could be used as a treat now and again.

To help get your eating on track, try to keep a diary for two weeks. Record what you are eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner with snacks and drinks on there too. Also, as much as possible, write down where you were when you ate and who was with you too. It has been proven that when your write down what you are eating each day, you are more likely to think about what you choose to eat. What’s more, when you start to realise that whenever you go on your lunch break on a Wednesday with your favourite colleague, you end up in the staff canteen eating chips, it will help you to preplan your Wednesday lunch break. Will you go for lunch with that colleague? Will you not take your purse with you that day and make sure you make a healthy lunch that morning so you can still go with your friend but not have the chips? 

When you have your completed food diary go through and highlight the areas you think you could improve. For example,highlight the fatty foods in red, try to eliminate these. Highlight your fruit and veg in green, are these appearing 5 times a day? Highlight your carbohydrates in yellow, could you change these for healthier alternatives? Try swapping the white foods for wholemeal. Change your snacks, make sure you have fruit and nuts available to snack on if you need them. 

If you start to make gradual changes and introduce the new habits into your daily diet them will become routine and you will no longer want the foods you were previously eating. You will notice the changes on your energy levels, cravings will reduce and you will be satisfied for longer which will prevent snacking too much between meals. 

Never lie on your food diary. It is your food diary and you will only cheat yourself. If you had a chocolate bar at 11am, put it down. You can allow yourself for treats and can recognise when you are wanting them most or can prepare with a healthy snack to have instead.

Plan your shopping list based on your food diary. Pre plan meals and buy only what you have planned for. If you don’t have it in your cupboards, you can’t eat it! Plan all meals – breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. If you need something quick and easy for lunch or if yo are on the go, make it at home and take it with you. 

Also make sure that you always have a bottle of water handy. Keeping hydrated is also an important part of your eating habits. Hunger and thirst can sometimes be mistaken, so if you do feel a crave coming on, have a glass of water first. 

Give the food diary a try and exercise regularly. I guarantee you will feel healthier, less fatigued and you will see the benefit on your waistline too. 

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