People come in all shapes and sizes. Apple,pear,dorito, hourglass, or whatever you want to call it; the debate on the ideal human body has been going on for centuries. And while there has always been a certain body type held above others in all eras of human history, there is always one that is considered above the rest. A healthy body can look different on different people. And Sometimes, the healthiest version of you doesn’t look like the ideal way that society wants you to look like. But it doesn’t mean that you feel the best.
Additionally, it can be very hard for people with eating disorders to open up to people talk about it due to fear of judgment from others, so why not start with a diary?In a world where people tell you that you are supposed to be; fatter or thinner, taller or shorter, why not let your body do the talking? Consider it an experiment to see what your body can do when you put conscious effort into it and see how it feels when you actually put the care and effort to listen to it.
How to get started on a food diary
A food diary is a specific category of diaries in which you can track your daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly food intake. You can add new recipes, keep a tab on the nutrients that go into your body, and keep track of what you are putting into your mouth.While the needs of each person can change in terms of health, a food diary is an effective way for you to take close look at what exactly little or lot you have been consuming and whether you are eating a healthy, balanced diet.
To get started on a food diary, make sure that you are well aware of what exactly you want to include in the diary. Do you want to track what you are eating daily, the individual nutrient component of each meal, count the calories of each meal or even a combination of the three.
What you need to make sure is that you do not over complicate things.
Having a fixed format will ensure that it becomes a part of your daily routine instead of becoming something you push aside.
You will need to frequently update the diary so that you don’t forget what you ate and how much it ate….feel free to add in a sentence or paragraph on how you felt after eating the meal.
Observe the following format:
-You eat chapati with some kind of vegetable on the side for dinner-
Meal –chapati and vegetables
Food groups involved-Carbohydrates, fats,vitamins and minerals, protein
Most of which was-carbohydrates
Reflection-The meal was filling without making me feel like i have overeaten.Although i could add more vegetables next time.
-You eat a snack-
Meal-A packet of chips
Serving size(will be at the back of the packet)- 4-5 chips
More or less than serving size-more
Reflection-The chips were not filling despite eating over the serving size. I am still hungry..will try to replace this chips with biscuits or carrots and hummus next time.
Initially though,you could start by just writing down everything that you have eaten during the day…you don’t even need to put in the reflections.Just write down every thing you eat to its basic components. Simply seeing what you are eating instead of forgetting about it will help you get better at improving your diet.
This is a very basic example of how you could run a food diary. The format allows you to quickly add the meal to the journal and is simple to remember so you could just allot some time before sleep to enter in all the meals of the day without much hassle as to the calories in your meal.
It helps you see what exactly you put into your mouth and tells you what you can add or subtract from your meals to make it a more balanced meal.
Calories are not bad. While most people tend to say that calories are not good for your body this is not so; your body needs a certain amount of calories for it to be energetic and in good condition. Without the adequate amount calories in your body you will look gaunt and feel tired instead of having the healthy glow that you look for. On the other hand, you can over do it with the calories too. Calories help with energy. If your body is taking in more energy than it is using up ,the excess energy will remain within it. This is why you gain weight even if you eat less. It does not only depend on the quantity of the food but also the calories in it.
Eating less will make you feel hungry and will get you reaching for more food even if your calorie needs for the day have been satisfied from the amount of oil or junk food you eat for one meal.This however does not mean that you can eat only one food group whilst satisfying your daily calorie intake.Your body need all the food groups to function properly.
Things you can add in the diary
Try searching for recipes that have lesser calories and are more filling and enter them in your food diary along with their calories.
You can also sit down once a week to plan all the meals in advance and enter them into a timetable in the food diary.So, when it comes to cooking, you won’t be stressed about watching the calories in your food. You will need to think and shop in advanced so that all the ingredients in your diary will be within reach.
Find healthy swaps for you favorite food and enter them into your diary.You can write about your feelings and attitudes towards food and meals openly and without restrain.
In conclusion, keeping food diary will hold you accountable for your choices and take responsibility for them. It is a good way to take control over your eating habits and is an effective step in your journey to becoming a better eater.