Diary

Food Diaries

-By Brett Qualls, PT, DPT, OCS

As was previously mentioned, I view food as fuel for the body.  The body requires that we take in enough of the right kinds of fuel to power our bodies through the challenges of the day.  While making the right decisions is important, consistency with your selections can prove to be equal parts important and challenging.

Any internet-based search for “the perfect diet” is bound to yield thousands of opinions from as many different sources.  What are the chances of there being a perfect, one size fits all diet?  For the most part, it is not necessarily about what specific foods that you are eating, as much as it is making a plan and sticking to it.  This is really the big challenge: stick to your diet plan!

One method that I have found particularly helpful with staying true to my diet plan is to use a food log.  This can be either a pen and paper log or one of the many electronic or phone application-based logs.  The food log is nothing more than its name would imply, it is a place where you log or diary everything that you consume in a given day.  You should document the type of foods, quantity consumed, and at what time during the day that you were eating.

Accountability

Keeping a daily food log is one of the best ways to keep yourself honest and on track with your diet plan.  Simply knowing that you have to record the candy bar or that bowl of ice cream in your food log can often help you to resist the urge to cheat.  It is no longer your little secret!  It is there in black and white for all to see that on this day in history that you had a moment of weakness and cheated on your diet.  Many of the electronic food logs allow you to share your log with others in your group, this creates an even larger level of accountability for the eater.  By becoming more accountable for the things that you choose to eat, you have a much better chance of staying true to your diet plan.

Accuracy

Meal planning and early food preparation of some of the best ways to ensure healthy eating during the week.  Many people dedicate several hours of their weekend preparing the meals that they will be eating during the week.  The best made plans can be foiled if you do not follow through with your diet plan. A diet plan is a great concept, but a food log will help you to look backwards and see the truth of what you consumed. With your food log, you can review your food intake an make sure that you truly are getting the quality and quantities of fuel that your body needs.

Stick With It!

A food log, like many other things in life, only works if you follow through with it.  I would suggest starting with a daily food log and keeping it up for at least two to three weeks.  This will allow you to see trends of when you are eating, how you feel with your exercise routines, and also to see those times of the week that you tend to be the most tempted to cheat. The food log concept if very simple, but can be a powerful tool with helping you to reach your health and wellness goals.

*Copyright Havasu Living Magazine