Even if you think you make mostly healthy choices, tracking your nutrients can help you change your eating habits for the better. Discover how a food diary can make eating a more mindful experience.
Keeping a food diary means recording a list of the foods you eat each day and how you eat them. But you shouldn’t simply write a vague list. In addition to tracking how much of each food item you eat and drink, note what type it is, making sure to account for extras such as sugar or ketchup. Note the time you eat, where you do it, and whether you’re with anyone when you are eating.
You should also note your mood when you eat along with any activities — such as watching television or working — you do while eating or drinking. For example, you may not realize you’re eating sugary foods when you’re sad or mindlessly munching too many potato chips in front of the TV. A food diary helps you build awareness of your habits.
Keeping track of your food intake helps you identify bad and good habits so you can make choices in a mindful way. Explore the following ways a food diary and calorie tracker app can help you stay on track with your health:
Keeping track of everything you eat and drink teaches you about calories and how to control them. Everything comes with calories, and you may not otherwise see how that extra tablespoon of ketchup packs in added calories. Likewise, a food diary and nutrition tracker app combination gives you insight into the source of your calories. Learning the breakdown of where you get your calories, and which come from fat, carbohydrates, and protein, will show you if you’re getting too many of your calories from one of those nutrients. This awareness is important even if you’re getting the right amount of calories overall.
As you learn about calories, you’ll start to see how you can better control your portions and create balanced meals and snacks. You’ll see the foods you can eat in larger portions, such as some fruits and lean meats, and what you’ll want to reduce slightly.
You can easily trick yourself into thinking you eat in a balanced, healthy way. An objective log keeps you accountable to what you eat. It also takes the guesswork out of planning upcoming meals.
If you tend to overeat to celebrate or to pick yourself up when you’re feeling down, a food diary will help you pinpoint these situations. Even if overeating simply comes from having too small of a meal earlier in the day, tracking your food helps teach you how to prevent setting yourself up to binge.
Whether you want to lose or maintain your weight or make sure your calories are coming from good sources, a food diary can guide you. Tracking your nutrients helps you plan meals mindfully and develop and stick to good habits.
All of the content and media on Lifesum is created and published for information purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Users should always consult with a doctor or other health care professional for medical advice. If you have or think you are at risk of developing an eating disorder, do not use the Lifesum app and seek immediate medical help.