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5 Amazing Things That Would Happen When You Log Every Food You Eat

5 Amazing Things That Would Happen When You Log Every Food You Eat

You may have a to-do list or to-buy list, like most of us do. But how many of us would record the food we eat? What we eat affects us every second, as they provide the necessary nutrients, or if you eat unhealthy food they can be harming your bodies…so how can we know if we’re eating right?

By keeping a food diary, you will be surprised and amazed by the difference simply recording what you eat can make to your overall health and well-being.

Sherrie Delinsky, PhD, a staff psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, says: “food diaries can unveil patterns of overeating. They can also reveal and identify triggers to avoid, such as not eating enough throughout the day and then overeating at night, or overeating when drinking alcohol.”

Benefits you will see when you log your food

1. You will cut down on calories

By paying attention to your calorie intake you can better control the amount of calories you are eating. Your awareness will lead to an ability to limit and restrict your daily calorie intake. Experts say that the simple act of keeping a food diary can encourage you to eat fewer calories and thus lose weight. 

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2. You will snack less

By looking at how many snacks you have during the day you can cut down on unnecessary calories. Snacks can add up and can greatly contribute to your calorie intake. You may find that your meals are proportional but that you are snacking too much. By cutting down on snacks you can gain a trimmer waist line.

3. You will see the difference between weekends and weekdays

Another thing you will see is the difference between what you eat on the weekdays and what you consume on the weekend. As you generally have less time during the week you may find that you are eating more takeaway or quick meals with a high fat content. By noticing how you may cut corners on weekdays you can, for example, make an extra effort to cook during the weekend so you have pre-prepared healthy meals ready to eat during the week.

4. You will listen to your mood

By logging your food diary, you will discover your emotional connection with your food. See if your good eating days correspond with a positive mood. Also look to see if you feel good after you eat healthier meals. You may find that your mood is bad when you overeat and indulge. By being more aware of your mood you can prevent overeating and thus reduce your calorie intake.

5. You will feel more comfortable and healthier

By highlighting any food intolerances or allergies you may have you can get rid of unnecessary discomfort and things that are potentially bad for you. By paying attention to what foods make you feel bloated or give you indigestion you can eliminate these foods and feel much better. Some symptoms could be more serious like a rash or nausea. If you experience these kind of reactions to certain foods consult with your doctor.

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How to keep a food diary

What to include?

In your diary you will need to keep a record of the date, time, place, item eaten and quantity consumed. You may like to write by hand; if this is the case you can purchase a blank notebook or a daily diary. If you prefer to use electronic media there are many online tracking devices and apps available.

Be specific

When you keep your diary remember to record everything you eat and drink. The more specific and accurate you are the more benefits you are likely to gain from keeping your diary. You should include all meals, drinks and snacks that you eat throughout the day. It is worthwhile being very specific and including what ingredients are in the meals you eat. For example, if you eat a pasta bolognaise include the pasta and the meat and the tomatoes. Also, do not forget to include you daily water intake, as keeping a record of this will let you know if you have drunken too much or too little water.

Keep track of quantities

It is important to pay attention to how much of a given food you are eating. You may be eating healthy foods but the serving sizes could be too large. It can be useful to purchase a food scale or measuring cup to make sure your quantities are appropriate.

Pay attention to your mood

You may be keeping a food diary in order to lose weight or you could be trying to isolate a food allergy. In both these cases your mood plays an important role. Before and after you eat you can make a note of how you feel.

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It takes approximately 20 minutes for you to feel full and satisfied after a meal so it is best to wait 10-20 minutes before you write down how you feel.

If you make notes about your mood before you eat you may notice that, for example, you eat more when you are feeling stressed or low.

Seek out patterns and regularities in the food you eat

After a while you may see the emergence of some patterns in your eating habits. These patterns may be related to your feeling before and after a meal. It could be that you are eating similar foods at lunch time; for example, a sandwich. You may also notice that you overeat when you are feeling very hungry.

Additional tips

You may want to record the nutritional benefits of your food. This can help you gain insight into what nutrients you are getting and what you might be lacking. This way you can add certain foods to your diet to make up for the gap in your nutrient intake.

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Your physical activity has an effect on how many calories you should be consuming. Making note of what physical activities you are taking part in will help you to know what sorts of food you should be eating.

Summation

By sticking to the routine of keeping a food diary and following some of these suggestions you can make a change to the way you are eating. You may find that by recording your food intake you feel motivated to embark on a better healthier eating path and this will lead to a slimmer waist line and a greater sense of energy and comfort.

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Rebecca Beris

Rebecca is a wellness and lifestyle writer at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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