It’s easy to keep a food log these days. Recording what you eat and drink, as well as how active you are, are all vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Here are tips for writing in your food log:
- Include ALL the food and beverages that you consumed that day. This means writing down that a handful of nuts, cookie after lunch, schmear of mayo on your sandwich, whipped cream in your coffee, etc.
- Record everything right before or right after eating. Include the times of all meals and snacks. Writing down the timing of your meals can help you zero in on patterns of behavior and take steps to correct bad habits.
- Keep your food log handy. Filling it in should be a simple task that doesn’t take a lot of time.
- Jot down your hunger and fullness levels at every eating experience. Use a scale of 1-10 (1 very hungry, 5 neutral, 10 not hungry). This will allow you to get in touch with your feelings while fending off mindless eating and drinking. Plus, you might just find a pattern you weren’t expecting.
- Review your food log at the end of the day. A daily review will help to create awareness of your habits. For example, you can see where you may have overeaten or initially not eaten enough, only to binge later.
Here's a sample food log page that you can use...
By Victoria Shanta Retelny, RD, LDN, author of The Essential Guide to Healthy Healing Foods.
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.