I’ve often heard that if you want to change something about the way you eat, you should keep a food diary. That way you can keep track of everything you consume and see how that relates to your mood, or weight loss/gain, or skin condition, or whatever you are trying to change. We really are what we eat.
In the past I have always dismissed the idea of a food diary as a waste of time, but I thought I would finally give it a go. I’m on a mission to eat a little healthier, and I wanted to see what I could learn about my food habits from making a one-week food diary.
Shockingly, I didn’t hate keeping the diary. I thought it would become a bit of a drag, but I liked how aware I was of what I was eating. I usually just shovel food down my gullet like a zombie with little thought to what it’s doing to my body. Well, I try not think about it to be honest, especially when it comes to cake.
It was really interesting to see everything on paper. I would definitely recommend keeping a food diary if you are at all interested in taking a closer look at your diet. It even helped me to see where I was lacking inspiration, and has spurred me on to try out some new recipes! So, here’s five things I learnt from my one-week food diary.
I don’t snack if there’s nothing to snack on
When I looked back on my food diary, I found that even though I’d had some snacks there were far less that I expected. I’ve put that down to the fact that I’ve simply stopped buying naughty snack foods. For me I think I snack out of habit rather than actually being hungry. So if the snacks aren’t readily available, I won’t reach for them and won’t feel the difference. In future I am going to try and have healthier snacks on hand so that if I do feel the munchies coming on, I can snack guilt-free.
I eat worse at the weekends
This is partly because I’m more likely to eat out at the weekends. And let’s be honest if I’m eating out somewhere, I’m going to have chips and a dessert. But also, I allow myself to be a little bit naughty at the weekends. Of course I love the idea of eating healthier, but I like the idea of balance too. I know that if I didn’t allow myself a few treats at the weekend, I would fall of the wagon by Tuesday and eat terribly during the week. I try to balance my diet with exercise, so I don’t feel guilty about letting myself go at the weekends. I never tell myself that I can’t eat something, but everything is in moderation.
I hardly eat meat at home
I’m not a veggie, but I hardly ever buy meat when it comes to the weekly shop. Meat isn’t cheap, and if I’m honest, I’m not great at cooking it. It always turns out too chewy or too dry. (However, in this particular week I did have tuna and prawns which aren’t that cheap either.) I want to make sure that I’m eating a balanced diet as much as possible, and that doesn’t necessarily mean that I want to eat more meat. I just want to make sure that any nutrients that my body is missing out on can be put back into my diet in other ways.
I don’t drink as much tea as I thought
I was starting to think that my tea habit had got out of control, but it turns out that I don’t drink as much as I thought I did. When I’m in the office, tea-drinking seems to be part of some sort of mob-mentality. If someone makes a cuppa, everyone has one, and this happens like 12 times a day!? When I’m left to my own devices I don’t drink that much. And that is enough to prove to myself that I don’t have the dependency I thought I did, it’s just another habit that I’m going to try and break out of.
I’m lacking breakfast and lunch inspiration
Before I do the weekly food shop, I always plan out my dinners for the following week. But what I don’t really put a lot of thought into are breakfasts and lunches. This shows from the fact that I more often than not have porridge for breakfast, and some sort of eggs for lunch. This has motivated me to go off in search of some ideas to make my meals more interesting. Wish me luck!