Sample Diet Journals For Eating Patterns
Since childhood, we have been hearing our parents or elders say, that writing things down helps to retain information better. While that is true, it is also absolutely true that writing something down or the habit of journaling helps in retrospection. It helps in understanding what yesterday was like for you, sometimes you get to understand certain behavioural patterns that you might feel like changing later on or take something positive forward on to the next days. It is like looking at yourself from another person’s perspective.
Similar things happen when you journal your diet for all the meals. You get to understand how generally you are eating or if something needs to be changed or some good eating practices that have benefitted you, can be taken forward.
At Elate Wellbeing, at my Nutrition consultations, I always ask my clients about their dietary habits, which in general is called the dietary recall. Through that, I get to understand their regular patterns of diet. After providing them with the diet plans, I ask them to a journal. That way even though they think they are following my diet plan; they get to know the tiny slips that happened and might have added to the extra calories. This causes a sense of awareness and they end up avoiding those slips may be in the following week.
This process has another advantage in a reverse way, the awareness about the fact that you have to write down everything that goes into your mouth, makes you stay away from the indulgences.
Scientific evidence supports that journaling provides other unexpected health benefits. The act of writing accesses your left brain, which is analytical and rational. While your left brain is occupied, your right brain is free to create, intuit and feel. This is the part that rationalises your indulgences rather. In sum, writing removes mental blocks about food and allows you to use all of your brainpower to better understand yourself, your cravings, your suitable timings to eat, etc. Begin journaling your daily food pattern, and begin experiencing these benefits:
Clarify your thoughts and feelings about food:
Do you ever seem all jumbled up inside post eating a cheat meal, unsure of what you want or feel? Taking a few minutes to jot down your thoughts and emotions about eating, your favourite food.
Keeping a food diary can help reveal the unhealthy habits that are stopping you from losing weight. Writing down everything you eat will make you less likely to pick up the handful of chocolates in the office or order the extra side of sauces for your salad. Often people forget about the little snacks that could potentially be keeping them from losing weight. Maintaining a food diary will help you say no to the extra calories that may be stunting your weight loss as you become more aware as you read it rather than just thinking about it.
Detecting food intolerances
Food diaries can also help determine if you have a severe reaction to certain foods. In some cases, reactions to different foods can happen hours after the food has been consumed. Writing down what you eat and how you feel afterwards can help you realize what foods your body reacts negatively towards. If you feel bloated and nauseous after eating eggs, dairy, or gluten, then you may be intolerant to these foods.
Keeping a food diary is also an excellent way to manage the portions of your food. It can be hard to control your portions when restaurants offer enormous plates, and gas stations have jumbo size cups for soda. Even cake tins and dinner plates are larger than ever. Using a food diary will keep you accountable for the size of your meals. Before starting your food, diary does some research on the proper portion sizes, then base your meals off of the information you find. Keeping a journal is the best way to help yourself become mindful. You are present in the moment while eating without being distracted. This is what even the Meditation experts at Elate try to achieve on a daily basis with the clients.
Keeping track of your every meal will reveal more than just calorie intake and food intolerances; it can also show whether you are eating enough of each food group. If your food diary consists of mainly carbohydrates and proteins, then you are not getting the vitamins you need from fruits and vegetables. Keeping a food diary will allow you to analyse what foods you are not eating enough of, or which ones you are eating too much.
Identifying triggers to unhealthy eating
It can be beneficial to jot down your location, time of day, and mood when keeping a food journal. Keeping track of these things can reveal how stress, work, or certain people affect your food choices. For example, if you reach for a candy bar each time you enter the office, then stressful environments may cause you to crave sugary foods. If you eat every meal standing up, then you are probably rushing and eating more calories than if you sat down and took your time. Using a food diary to note certain triggers will help you get rid of the unhealthy habits.
Following are some easy ways to journal your daily diet
Programs curated at Elate Wellbeing Lounge on Mindfulness and Nutrition, emphasizes on maintaining a food journal. It happens on so many occasions that you are eating some extra hidden calories which you know but are not aware of! Also important of course for your nutritionist to understand the kinds of conscious and sub-conscious food choices that you are making, helping you to correct if something is not going as planned and to carry forward healthy practices that you may be able to take forward.